Hardee's Furniture

Store owner Vanise Hardee, right, talks to his son-in-law, Laramie Eichelberger, on Wednesday at Hardee’s Furniture.

Hardee’s Furniture, a family-owned and locally operated business that has been serving the community since 1981, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Owner Vanise Hardee, a native of Harnett County, moved to Wilson in 1975 after graduating from N.C. State University. Hardee worked in finance for several years before opening his furniture store.

Since its inception, Hardee’s Furniture has been located at 4603 U.S. 301 in Rocky Mount and has expanded over the years to become a 40,000-square-foot facility.

Hardee acknowledges that he has a lot to be grateful for, but his biggest pleasure has been the involvement of his family in the business.

“It’s been wonderful having Megan and Brandon taking such an interest,” Hardee said. “I am very blessed that my children are working hard to continue serving folks in the area.”

Hardee said Brandon did not have a choice as to whether or not he was going to work at the store. At only 10 years old, he was put to work.

“While there were many days he liked it, there were also plenty that he didn’t,” he said with a laugh.

Hardee recalled that his wife, Deborah, used to bring Brandon to the store as a baby. He joined the family business full time in 2003 after graduating from his father’s alma mater.

Hardee’s daughter, Megan Eichelberger, joined the business in 2010 working in accounts payable and part-time sales. Eichelberger said she is proud of what her family has accomplished and is confident that even brighter days are ahead.

“We are excited to be celebrating 40 years at Hardee’s Furniture and are thankful for all of our many loyal customers and exceptional sales team,” Eichelberger said. “It is a blessing to have a family-owned business and I look forward to what the future holds for Hardee’s Furniture.”

Eichelberger’s husband, Laramie, also works at the store.

“The key to our success is our sales team. We have good, Christian men and women who are loyal not only to the business but to our customers,” Hardee said. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without these wonderful people.”

And after 40 years in business, Hardee said he has no plans to retire “anytime soon.”

“Just because my children are now actively involved in Hardee’s Furniture doesn’t mean I’m ready to take it easy,” he said. “I enjoy going to work and dealing with people every day, so I’m not going to stop working until I’m physically unable to.”

The No. 1 seller at Hardee’s is La-Z-Boy recliners. The store also carries Ashley, Broyhill, Bassett, Sealy Posturepedic, Temper-pedic and other brands.

The business is planning an anniversary celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday with free hotdogs for customers and the chance to enter a raffle drawing for a free La-Z-Boy recliner.