March 15, 2024

After 46 Years, True Value in Leesburg to Close as Owner Retires

2 min read| Published On: March 15th, 2024|

By Cindy Peterson

After 46 Years, True Value in Leesburg to Close as Owner Retires

2 min read| Published On: March 15th, 2024|

After over three decades of serving the community, Mark Crawford, the owner of True Value in Leesburg, has decided to retire and close the store. Mark has been a familiar face in the community for years, often helping homeowners with tools for everything from leaky pipes to broken toilets. He even made a few house calls and recalled one time he was paid by a dear lady in homemade cookies.

True Value opened its doors in 1978. Mark took over ownership in the 90s and poured his heart into the business over the next 32 years, raising his children within its walls and employing countless high school students over the years.

“I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to give kids a job here, and some of them have gone on to do many great things,” Mark says.

As Mark prepares to retire at 62, he expressed gratitude for the friendships forged and the lives touched through his store. He shared some of his favorite memories of World War II veterans and community members who often visited and shared their stories.

“But I’m a grandfather now, so I’m ready to play that role,” he says.

Despite facing challenges, including a life-altering motorcycle accident, Mark persevered and continued to serve his community. He credited the kindness of others for helping him through tough times.

“People were mowing my grass and taking care of stuff for me,” Mark says. “You just remember those things. Like I’ve gone to the same barber for like 34 years. She came out and cut my hair after I’d been in the trauma ward for a month.”

As a small business owner, Mark has seen the economy shift with the rise of Amazon and other online retail giants. Mark believes their store was able to make it because of the relationships he’s made. Plus, if someone’s toilet was broken, they wouldn’t want to wait for Amazon’s two-day shipping before getting their part.

“It’s the little things that make a big difference,” Mark says. “And I think that’s the secret sauce for small business people, to engage in the community.”

Many have asked why Mark doesn’t sell the business instead of closing. Unfortunately with rising rent costs, a suitable buyer wasn’t found. The store is currently having a 25% off everything sale, and everything from wall to wall, including the fixtures, are for sale. Mark is expecting to close up shop for good in late April or early May.

As he looks forward to retirement, Mark plans to spend more time with his family and pursue his hobbies, including restoring old cars, playing the guitar and visiting his farm in North Carolina more. He’s not the type to sit still, so we may not have seen the last of him. He cherishes the memories made at True Value but looks forward to the next chapter of his life, filled with new adventures and experiences.

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About the Author: Cindy Peterson

Originally from the small town of Berryville, Arkansas, Cindy has become a multimedia specialist in journalism, photography, videography and video editing.

She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Central Arkansas and is a correspondent for The Daily Commercial, LakeFront TV and Beacon College’s PBS talk show, “A World of Difference,” where she received an Anthem Award and Telly Award.

When she isn’t working, Cindy spends time with her husband, Ryan, and son, David, traveling and taking photos of landscapes and wildlife.

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