For many years, Bradley Greene and Charlie Thomas have been a familiar presence to people stopping by Nix Furniture & Hardware looking to buy tools, chairs – or catch up on county happenings.
But that will be changing.
The longtime owners of the downtown Cleveland store say they will retire this year after 45 years at the store for Greene and 40 years for Thomas.
J.L. Nix started the store in 1945, said Thomas, who became a partial owner with Greene in 1990 before they bought out the Nix family in 2000.
“I remember what J.L. said, you’ll know when the time comes and I’ve felt to me that the time is now,” Greene said. “Not that I’ve seriously thought of leaving, but it felt like the right time to do this.”
Some of the owners’ favorite memories over the years have come from interacting with visitors.
“When [J.L. Nix] retired, we had to start building our own clientele,” Greene said. “It was amazing to me to see how that progressed over the years and the friendships we made, still a joy today. A lot of people we do business with.”
Though they are announcing plans to retire, a date has not been set, with Thomas adding that it’ll be sometime this year. Both men say they plan to keep working in retirement. (Among their other roles in the community, Greene serves on the Cleveland City Council and Thomas is on the White County Board of Education.)
The future of the store itself remains to be determined.
Thomas said they’re open to anything, but would like to see a business or businesses come in that would benefit downtown Cleveland. He added that they own the building and property, with Greene stating that leasing the building is also an option.