Gray’s Furniture closing doors after 57 years on Broad Street

Published 9:05 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2017

After being in business for 57 years on Broad Street, Gray’s Furniture is closing.

Margaret Cogle, who took over the family business from her parents, said she decided to close the store to spend more time with her family.

“I’m getting older. My parents are both still living, and they’re of course getting older themselves,” Cogle said Wednesday. “And I just need more time to be able to help them, and I have three grandbabies that I want to spend more time with.”

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Cogle, who started working at the family store during the summers, has worked there on Broad Street for the last 31 years.

“It’s been a great, great ride,” she said. “Selma has been good to us many, many years. Daddy was here, and it has been our source of income for 57 years, and it’s been good. We’ve enjoyed every minute.”

The store was opened in April of 1960 by Charles Gray and his wife Marcille.

“The town was hustling back then with Craig Air Force Base,” Charles said in a 2010 Times-Journal story about the store’s 50th anniversary.

The base closed in 1977, but the store still saw success. Cogle then followed in their footsteps and bought the business from them in 1989 with her husband Kent.

Cogle said she used to teach school, but eventually started working at the store fulltime.

“I used to teach school, and I came to help my daddy when my son was a baby. He just asked me to come down here because he needed some extra help, and I never left,” Cogle said with a laugh.

She is going to miss helping people pick out the right furniture and making friends at the same time.

“This is what I’ve done for the last 31 years, so I will definitely miss the customers,” Cogle said.

“That’s the most fun part, just getting to know people and help them with whatever they needed. Most everybody has become my friend.”

She called her customers “the greatest in the world.”

“They’ve been real sweet,” Cogle said.

“Most of them are sad, just sad to see another family business go. That’s really the biggest reaction.”

Cogle has many memories of growing up in the store and going to market in Atlanta with her father.

“I grew up right here going to market with daddy,” Cogle said. “This is where I spent my summer vacations.”

Cogle said the store will close it doors sometime in May.