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Stewart Brothers Customer Appreciation Day


(left to right) Jacqueline and Ed Dempsey, Rusty Bane, Purina nutrition expert, and Al Thomas with Purina.
The newest authorized Purina dealer in the Memphis area, Stewart Brothers Hardware at 7715 Hwy. 70 in Ellendale (Bartlett), TN, hosted its first Purina Customer Appreciation Day on March 7, 2015. Fortunately, by that Saturday the ice and snow from the early March winter storm had nearly melted as temperatures rose out of the teens to pleasant mid-50s with some much-appreciated sunshine.

The all-day event attracted a lot of customers to take advantage of the day’s special offers. There were 55 folks who received free bags of feed. William B. of Bartlett won the Grand Door Prize - a Yeti cooler. Rusty Bain, animal nutrition expert with Purina, answered questions from horse owners about horse nutrition and help them to develop a feeding program that would fit their needs.

Ed Dempsey, the owner of Stewart Brothers, is also a horse enthusiast, along with his daughter Jacquelyn and his son Montgomery who also work in the store.  Ed gives a little history of horses in the Dempsey family. “My great-great grandfather went to Texas from Georgia to gather wild horses. His uncle still has the old leather tally books. My great grandfather claimed that grandfather (his son in law) was ‘a good farmer and the best teamster’ that he ever knew.

“I showed at the Ellendale Saddle club during high school and college days. I was down to one horse when my oldest daughter [Hollie] was born. We were at my father in law's Hereford Production sale when Hollie was only three weeks old.

“A graduate school friend of mine was the farm manager at Tennessee Tech University and was looking for a ranch gelding. I sold my last horse to TTU that spring (1989). Jim told me that he died the summer before Montgomery started to college there (2010). We got back into recreational horses when Jacquelyn got a horse in 2007.”

Stewart Brothers Hardware has a long history in the Memphis area. Ed explains, “Stewart Brothers Hardware was started by three brothers [who emigrated] from Ireland in 1887. After [trying] a couple of other locations, the company moved to 1340 Madison Avenue in 1934. My father started work as a stock boy [at Stewart Brothers] in 1962. We opened a small store here in Bartlett in 1977, and we have added on to the building three times. We opened the two Ace Hardware stores in 2010.” Now Stewart Brothers Hardware has three locations in the Memphis area, but the store in Bartlett is the official Purina dealer.

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