NETTLETON – RAFCO Hardware and Mobile Home Supplies owner David Miller started out as a part-time employee for the business when he was 26 years old.
“I was working three days a week stocking shelves and helping customers. Through turnover, I became full-time. Meanwhile, Mr. Worthy had opened a heating and cooling store and put RAFCO up for sale. To keep someone else from coming in and turning it into something else, I bought it,” Miller said.
The Mr. Worthy Miller is referring to is Lavon Worthy who opened RAFCO in 1986. Originally a hardware store, Worthy decided to stock mobile home supplies. Having previously worked in the mobile home industry, he saw a market for it in this area. He was right.
“We have a niche with the mobile home supplies. The big chains like Lowe’s and Home Depot do nothing for the mobile home owner, but we do,” Miller said.
RAFCO is the only mobile home supply store in the area; the next closest one is 60 miles away. On any given day, Miller and his employees will see customers from Meridian; Lexington; Marion, Ark.; and Anniston, Ala.
Not only does RAFCO carry everything for the mobile home owner, the store has also expanded its inventory to cover everything from nails to hard-to-find power tools.
RAFCO also installs everything its sells, making the business a true full-service establishment.
“We take care of everything from plumbing leaks all the way to renovating a home to meet handicap standards. There is nothing we won’t tackle. Some of our service guys have been here longer than I’ve been alive,” Miller said.
The length of time some employees have been there is a testament to the kind of staying power RAFCO has been able to maintain, even through dips in the economy. When the economy forced people to do without, Miller’s focus was to help them maintain and improve on what they already possessed.
Miller and his employees always have one main goal, which is pleasing their customers.
“This store was built by the people in this community. We treat our customers like family because it’s really customer service that keeps a small business like us going. Most of our customers have my cell phone number and if they call in the middle of the night needing help, I open the store up and we take care of it.”