Each year we profile a handful of Cobb’s family-owned businesses that have been passed down from generation to generation. This year, we present a sporting goods store, a food service business, a carpet company and Georgia’s oldest drugstore.
We hope you enjoy getting to know them.
Lacey Drug Company
Considered to be the oldest continually-operating pharmacy in Cobb County and among the oldest in the state of Georgia, Lacey Drug Company has been affording locals quality care since 1895.
Originally founded by Claude and Albert Durham as the Durham Brothers Drug Company at the still-operating Acworth location, the company was purchased by George Lacey and renamed in 1943. Finally, its current owner, Larry L. Braden, took over the small corner drugstore in ’68 and has since expanded the business to three thriving locations that can handle everything from pharmacy, custom compounding and long-term care needs to medical equipment, post-mastecto¬my products (with certified fitters) and lymphedema services.
Lacey Drug Company is an independent family-owned business that has seen massive growth since its small cornerstone inception. Today, the company is a modern pharmacy that always strives to meet the full healthcare needs of its many loyal customers. And, they do it with a level of care you won’t find at the larger big box chain stores and grocers.
In addition to quality health care provided by a team of knowledgeable pharmacists, Lacey also offers specialized services like local delivery and made-from-scratch compounded medications. According to the Lacey team, “anyone can benefit from a compounded medication at some point in … life” because doctors often prescribe these specialty medications when a needed medicine is hard-to-find or discontinued, allergies prevent the use of common ingredients, and when patients have a hard time swallowing pills and need a liquid form or require bio-identical hormones.
Lacey Drug Company accepts most third-party insurance carriers, bills for worker’s compensation and is PCAB and HQAA accredited. They also are now seeing patients for mastectomy fittings in the WellStar Kennestone Cancer Center in the Healing Arts Studio. Look them up today for personalized hometown health care services.
Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q
Every good Southerner knows all barbecue is not created equal. For the fine folks at Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q, that picky colloquial taste has helped build something of an empire. From fall-off-the bone Q and finger-licking sauces, to flavorful jerky and zesty spice rubs, the Williamson family has cornered the smokehouse market in their busy restaurants, thriving catering business and wholesale and retail product distribution businesses.
Founded in 1990 by brothers Larry and Danny Williamson with little more than a box truck and a few thousand dollars, Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q has seen its share of highs and lows (including two restaurant fires), but the family’s close-knit camaraderie, hardworking hustle and old-fashioned Southern ingenuity have always seen them through.
Today, Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q uses wholesome, all-natural ingredients (many of them locally-sourced) throughout its restaurant, small-batch sauce and catering divisions with founders Larry and Danny still at the helm. And, they’re doing it at scale.
“We make 130,000 gallons of sauce per year,” said general manager Sawyer Williamson (Larry’s son). “It’s galactic. We’re the Star Troopers of the barbecue sauce realm. We’re one of the largest non-national barbecue sauces in the state.”
Throughout the family’s three restaurants,16,000-square-foot catering facility and popular line of sauces managed by Danny’s son-in-law, Destin Neal, everything at Williamson Bros. is made by hand and with a lot of love.
Cobb Countians know they don’t have to go very far to get some mouthwatering Williamson Bros. barbecue, but you don’t have to stop by one of their two Cobb locations to pick up some of their sauce that’s so good it just might dill your pickle. Order online, call in or head to one of the countless grocers, including Publix, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Target and more, who stock their sweet nectar of the Southern gods.
Jonquil Sporting Goods
If you’ve ever played Little League in Cobb County, chances are you’ve spent more than a few days in Smyrna’s Jonquil Sporting Goods. Opened in 1969 by founder Jack Derocher, the store is a team-oriented retailer that has sponsored so many sports teams through the years there’s nary a space on the walls for another plaque.
“I was involved in the baseball programs (in Cobb County), and we always had to go into Atlanta to get equipment and merchandise,” Derocher said. “I thought having a store in Cobb would be a good idea. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
“We fit shoes and help you find the right glove or bat,” said manager Craig Brooks, whose father Al has also worked in the shop as the sales manager since 1970.
Fleming Flooring & Design Centers
Since 1971, Fleming Flooring & Design Centers (formerly Fleming Carpets) has been the go-to guys for all things flooring in Marietta and beyond. Originally opening as a Buckhead paint store in ’68, founder Al Fleming decided to move into flooring when a high school friend dropped a handful of sample boards by the shop, and he hasn’t looked back since.
“There was a guy I knew who went to work for a carpet mill, and he came by the store and gave me four deck sample boards,” said Fleming, whose wife, Saundra is an area native. “That’s how we got started. We sold the [paint] business and moved to Marietta.”
Today, Fleming Flooring & Design Centers might just be one of the best companies in Cobb you’ve never heard of. That’s because they’ve built an impressive business catering to home builders and contractors who install flooring on a massive scale. But, that doesn’t mean they aren’t also masters of the retail space. In fact, they employ dedicated retail specialists and recently built out a brand new showroom where it’s not hard to be wowed by the astounding selection on offer.
“Our business is carpet, hardwood and ceramic tile,” said vice president sales manager (and Fleming’s son-in-law) Todd Baughn. “But, this business is relationship-driven and built off referrals. People can call and speak to me or Al, and we’re not going anywhere. We’re invested in the community.”
A true family-owned and operated outfit, Fleming Flooring & Design Centers employs a team of 22 full-time staff and around 60 of the best installers in the business. Even Fleming’s two daughters, Krista and Jan, have worked in the business and continue to support the company to this day.
For Fleming and his team, no job is too big or too small. From simple repairs and one-closet jobs, to whole house and even large neighborhood projects, Fleming Flooring & Design Centers can do it all — and they do it with a resolute commitment to quality.
*Originally published in the March 2017 issue of Cobb Life magazine.