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Trophy shop to leave downtown

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Speight's Trophy Shop co-owner Jeff Speight, left, and graphic designer Tammy Hodges pose with Speight's 1-year-old female yellow Labrador retriever Melania on Wednesday at the business in downtown Rocky Mount.

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Monday, June 24, 2019

After approximately 37 years in downtown Rocky Mount, most of them in the same location, a business is moving to the Westridge shopping center on the northwest side of the city.

Speight’s Trophy Shop will be shifting from 122 N.W. Main St. to 3667 Sunset Ave., hopefully in the second week of July, said Jeffrey Speight, who is a partner in the faith-based family business. Speight’s is going to be in a space left of the Lilly & Lane Boutique.

Jeffrey Speight, 52, said he, his father, Roscoe Speight, 86, and his mother, Peggy Speight, 81, have been debating the subject of a move for a while.

“We’ve actually started getting into some new products that are going over really well,” Jeffrey Speight said. “And I’ve added a machine and probably am going to have to add another machine — and as you can tell, it’s kind of tight in here.

“So, we really need more room.”

Speight’s Trophy Shop has been in business since 1982, and the business was across the railroad tracks at 121 S.E. Main St. before eventually shifting to 122 N.W. Main.

Jeffrey Speight said the future space at Westridge is going to be approximately 2,300 square feet compared to approximately 800 square feet at the downtown location.

And when Jeffrey Speight speaks of new products, he is referring to Speight’s having expanded from specializing in plaques and trophies into selling gift items such as personalized cups.

He said he got the idea to start selling the cups after seeing such items in the summer of 2018 at a show in Charlotte.

At the same time, he made clear the emphasis of the business is going to be the same. “We’re sticking with the trophies and plaques,” he said. “That’s our bread and butter.”

Roscoe Speight said the decision to relocate was not really a difficult one.

“Of course, you hate to leave something that has been good to you,” the father said. “But when you get pushed for room and space and get new products, it’s time to look towards the future.”

One of the family members working at Speight’s is Tammy Hodges, 47, who has been with the business for approximately a little more than a year.

“I’ve always known what Jeff and Uncle Roscoe and Aunt Peggy have done here — and have always been interested in it,” Hodges said.

Hodges said she is elated about the future location and Speight’s being able to expand.

Speight’s makes the third downtown business to either have pulled out of — or have confirmed plans to pull out of — the heart of Rocky Mount.

Earlier this spring, Muttley Crew, a specialty store for dogs, relocated from a suite in the Station Square complex along Nash Street to Westridge.

Tosha Aldridge, co-owner of Muttley Crew, has said her decision was somewhat a case of both downtown not progressing as she would like and the general condition of dilapidated or abandoned areas downtown.

And earlier this spring, Cindy Coker, co-owner of Towel Town, a home accessories and gifts business and lamp repair shop at 248 S.W. Main St., confirmed she had secured a buyer for the store’s building.

Coker said she needs a location with smaller space, but she also has said the lack of traffic downtown was part of the reason for deciding to sell the building.

Jeffrey Speight made clear the numerous vacant storefronts in the central business district was not a factor in his and his family’s decision to move Speight’s.

He said he and the family members are going to miss being a few minutes away from Central Cafe, which has long remained a popular eatery.

“Downtown has been good to us,” he said. “It has nothing to do with anything about the current location. It’s mainly about the room – and change can always be good.”

Regarding the future of the downtown location, Jeffrey Speight said, in time, the space is going to be rented out.

“We’ve actually been approached by a couple of individuals,” he said. “I don’t have a time frame on it because I don’t want to be pushed to have to get out and have to be out at a certain time.”

Speight’s has a website at www.speightsnc.com and also has a Facebook page.

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