Over 80 years ago, during the depths of the Great Depression, C.T. Garvin took a leap of faith and opened a feed and seed store in Huntsville, and over the years it has become legendary in the Tennessee Valley. The year was 1934, and it would be several years before Huntsville would become known as Rocket City. Farming was still the foundation of the local economy, the TVA had been formed the year before, and Senator John Bankhead passed legislation to help boost the price of cotton by limiting the amount a farmer would be allowed to bring to market. While it may have been a simpler time, like now, it was full of challenges.
C.T. Garvin’s has continued to prosper, grow, and change with the times, and has navigated the shift from a local population that is largely rural, to one that is somewhat more urban. And, in this time of “riding out” another recession, they are pleased to announce the opening of a brand new store in Limestone County, located at 24984 Thach Road in Elkmont, right at the corner of Thach Rd and Mooresville Rd. Both stores are owned by Monica Clark, and her husband, Dennis. Dennis and Monica also own AltaTurf Sod Company, and Dennis has been in the sod business for over 25 years. He would often visit C.T. Garvin’s for mulch, (as well as other supplies), and struck up a friendship with Mr. Garvin. The time came when Mr. Garvin was ready to retire, and Monica, whose background is in accounting and corporate administration, knew this was what she wanted to do. The store became hers in 2008.
Monica has kept her eye on the changing demographic scene in Huntsville, and told me, “The Huntsville store’s clientele used to be mostly farmers, and now the store serves more horse and pet owners.” What was intriguing to me, as a former co-op horse owner, is that Garvin’s custom blends their horse feed. They literally make it from scratch! They also carry brands such as Nutrena, Triple Crown, Progressive Supplements, Garvin Feed, Purina, Southern States, Legends, and others. Monica said, “We are one of the only places in North Alabama authorized to sell these brands.” They also have representatives from the company who really care about both the owners as well as their animals, and will see to it that questions get answered. Garvin’s carries a proprietary blend of goat ration, as well as what they call, “C.T. Garvin Secret Goat Mineral.”
The Elkmont store is different from Huntsville’s because it is located in what is still a North Alabama farm community, and serves the needs unique to raising livestock and running a farm. They are alike in that they are deeply committed to serving their customers, and carrying the supplies they need to succeed at raising healthy animals. “The people who work for us have horses,” Monica said, “and they’ll call specialists to get answers for our clients if they don’t know the answers themselves. We can provide supplies and answers in a timely manner.” Garvin’s is able to save dog owners money by providing the supplies for giving puppies their shots, and they have such well known flea and tick products as Frontline Plus, Advantix II, and Advantage II. Capstar (an internal medication which kills fleas,) is available as well.
Monica is especially excited about the new location. “It’s a great location, and is a fresh new store,” she said. They have several plans for the Grand Opening, which will occur later in the summer. There will be all kinds of prizes, including a three-piece hay ring, and a concrete feed trough, and the grand prize will be a generator. There will also be activities for the kids, and representatives from several of the suppliers listed above will be on hand to answer questions about their products.
The second part of C.T. Garvin’s name is “Seed,” and they have everything a gardener could want. There are seeds, sod, vegetable plants, fruit trees and plants, flowers, shrubs, topsoil, vermiculite, pest control products, herbicides, and a number of organic products. They also carry tools, gloves, hats, boots, fencing, decorative containers, and so much more. Come to the new edition of a well-established legend, the C.T. Garvin’s store in Elkmont, and let them, as Monica says, “meet the needs of the local community.” That means you!
C.T. Garvin Feed and Seed, LLC, Elkmont location
24984 Thach Road Elkmont, AL 35620
Hours: Mon-Fri 8-5, Sat 8-4 Closed Sundays
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner