@WORK: Butch Ford

Published: Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 9:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 9:59 p.m.

The business is 50 years old. How did it start? E.B Sapp Sr. opened the first pawn shop in Gainesville above the Happy Hour pool room on South Main Street ... My stepfather, E.B. Sapp Jr., bought the business. I moved the business to where it is now in 1985 and I purchased it from E.B. in ‘87. I turned it into pawn, gun, archery and new merchandise.

You have a lot of unique items such as decorations, including the Roman soldier on the front porch, but what is the big seller among the merchandise? This past year, guns have been very popular. I think it has to do with the economy and people's fear of what might happen. People are feeling the need to protect themselves. We bought a lot of guns people are selling that they don't use. That's one of the first things to go -- a gun in the closet that you haven't used in 10 years.

What has made the business so successful? I think it is our honesty. You can ask anybody in Gainesville, including the police department and Sheriff's Office, and I think you would get a favorable response from them. Our slogan is “The straight shooters” — we don't mess around and don't try to deal in stolen merchandise. I do a good, clean business. I make a decent living and do it honestly.

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