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Iconic Mt. Juliet business to close

Laurie Everett • Updated Jul 31, 2013 at 8:25 AM

An iconic 35-year Mt. Juliet business will shut down the end of August.

"It's been a great run, a really really good run," said Roy Garr, co-owner of Garr's Rental and Feed.

For over three decades the family-owned feed and rental store serviced the community on Lebanon Road and also in numerous community activities.

Garr's father and two brothers started the business in a rented space down the road from their current location. They operated the popular mom and pop business there for 10 years, then bought the land where they are currently and built the facility.

Garr said several factors led to the family decision to close down the business. He wants to spend time with his two grandchildren, Caitlyn, 10, and Hayden, 7.  Other family members were also ready to slow down a bit. For 35 years Garr worked 60-80 hours a week, which has been grueling, he said. He said after all these years it will be nice to "get out from under," and maybe get off a Saturday.

"I guess you could say some of it is selfish," he said. "I haven't been able to give attention to some things I want to. I would like to spend more time with my wife as well."

And, the down economy put a toll on the business, as well. 

"Of course, that is stressful," said Garr. "Trying to make ends meet and putting in even more hours to do more."

Looking back over the 35 years, Garr said he doesn't have any real regrets.

"I don't regret never taking a vacation," he said. 

The highlight of the long run for Garr was working with the teens he hired and spending time with the children who would come in to pet the chicks and ducks.

"Yes, I'll mostly miss the kids and critters," he said. 

Garr said the property is already sold to a local businessman and until the end of August he will have sales on the merchandise. There will be an auction in mid-September to sell off any remaining equipment and goods.

He's "wide open" on what he plans to do in the future. He will get another job, he said. Something so his wife Hazel can possibly retire.

Garr's was known for their scarecrow-making classes and Christmas photos with pets.

"Yes, it's bittersweet because I did those things with the grandkids and community children," said Garr. "But, I told them the other day that we will still make birdhouses and scarecrows, but just on a smaller scale."

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