C.T. Garvin Sr. was in the sausage and bologna business. Across the street from his business on Mitchell Drive was a cotton gin. C.T. Garvin Sr. bought cotton hulls from the gin, ground them up and sold them as feed. As he began to do this, many other opportunities arose and he transitioned into feed and seed instead of consumer meats.
CT. Garvin Feed and Seed was founded in 1934, occupying several locations in and near downtown Huntsville. Amazingly, he did all of this while America was deep in its depression. Mr. Garvin was a smart businessman. In the center picture, you can see the basketball team in which advertisements were placed to help drive business. Garvin Sr. is the man in the suit on the far right and Garvin Jr. is actually the little boy sitting up front.
One store actually sat on land that highway planners wanted to build on. The Garvins sold that land in 1988 but Thornton Garvin Jr. decided to stay in the feed business. When asked why he said, “Sometimes, I wonder. Part of it’s ego, you know. People tell us they like the way we make feed.”
In the 90s, Mr. Garvin decided to build a million dollar facility, the one that is now a beloved landmark of entrepreneurial downtown Huntsville. It was quite an endeavor as they worked together with Winsett Engineering of Atlanta. The mill itself cost about $800,000 to build.
In September of 2008, Mr. Garvin sold the store to Monica Clark. Her husband, sod farmer Dennis Clark, had been a long time customer of C.T. Garvin and now the couple run the store and carry on a long tradition of service. Mr. Garvin is now 82 years old.