Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

David Vawter (center), new owner of Three Rivers Mercantile, with his secret to success (from left to right) Denise Sanchez,Tawny Ashford, Vicki Blakslee, and Morgan Harrison. (Click arrows for additional photo.)Craig Price of Woodlake displays a custom-milled sugar-pine table at his new shop The Sunflower.

New owners take over Three Rivers Mercantile

Garden nursery will be a new addition
By: 
John Elliott

 

When previous owner Mike McCoy first started making plans to find a new owner for his hardware and general merchandise store, his hope was that he could make a deal with someone local who the community would support. The new owners are David and Lisa Vawter of Three Rivers, both of whom were raised here, attended local schools, and raised their kids here too. 
 
On Wednesday, March 27, the Three Rivers Mercantile was closed for the day to transfer inventory and furnish offer letters to current employees who wanted to continue at the only hardware store in Three Rivers. David Vawter said it was a move he should have made 10 years ago, owning and operating a local business. 
 
David will be the hands-on owner while his Lisa contribute her impressive background in bookkeeping and accounting. 
 
“The Vawters will be a good fit for the business,” McCoy said. “They bring new energy that I just don’t have any more ,and they plan to improve on what we’ve already been doing here.”
 
McCoy developed the land, built the current building, and opened Three Rivers Mercantile’s automatic doors (the only in Three Rivers) in 2006.
 
In a few weeks, the new owners will host an open house that will feature product demos and unveil more new ideas for growing the business.
 
“Our first phase will include a 3,500-square-foot nursery under a canopy located on the west side of the property,” David said. “We’ll have year-round plants, gardening supplies; sort of a smaller Luis Nursery that’s on Visalia Road.” 
 
David said the store will stock a complete line of Echo products: chainsaws, weedeaters, trimmers and accessories. They will also add more bulk products like sand, gravel, and road base, and have a propane refilling station with easy access for RVs. 
 
Down the road, there will also be equipment rentals, David added. 
 
In Other Business News
 
Craig Price of Woodlake has opened a new shop called The Sunflower in the Sequoia Coffee Co. building on Sierra Drive near North Fork Drive. 
 
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