Palestine, Texas- Local community leaders, business owners, and government officials gathered at Braly Builders Supply on Thursday, August 27, where they celebrated the presentation of the Texas Treasure Business Award with the Braly family.
Braly Builders Supply, named “Coolest Hardware Store on the Planet” in 2014 by Ace Hardware, received the Texas Treasure Business Award for its continual service in the community for over 50 years. In fact, Braly Builders Supply has been serving the community for over 80 years.
Texas Sen. Robert Nichols, Rep. Byron Cook, Judge Bascom Bentley III, Marty Prince, executive director for Texas Forest Trail Region, Vaughn Aldredge of the Texas Historical Commission, and Mayor Bob Herrington, were all in attendance and spoke on behalf of Braly Builder Supply and the family’s commitment to Palestine.
“The Bralys made a commitment to Palestine in 1932. They not only survived, they thrived, and they invested in this community,” said Prince. “They are a real Texas treasure.”
According to Aldredge, the Texas Treasure Business Award began in 2005, then in 2013, the program was relaunched. Since 2005, approximately 300 businesses have received the award.
Businesses eligible to receive a Texas Treasure Business Award must have been in continuous for profit operation for at least 50 years in the State of Texas; must also operate the same, or in a very similar fashion as when the business first began; have a continuous record of employment for at least the past 50 years; operate as an independent, for profit business; and maintain a good business relationship with the state.
“This is about family businesses,” said Aldredge. “The most fun part of it is seeing the families that have stood the test of time that have contributed to the community. That’s what we value the most in this award is, you’ve got staying power, you give back to the community, you give back to the area that you live in, you give back to the state of Texas.”
Rep. Cook told the crowd, small business is big business in rural East Texas. He then thanked the Bralys for investing in the future of Palestine, and for their recent work to restore the Historic Rusk Elementary School, where Braly Builder Supply is located today.
Sen. Nichols also thanked the Bralys for their service and commitment to their community over the years, as well as customers who have supported the businesses over the past eight decades.
“The fact that it was founded in 1932 in the Great Depression showed a lot of vision and being really brave, and then to take an old building like this school building that has touched so many lives over the years is pretty amazing also.”
Herrington echoed other officials’ sentiments and said, “Braly’s is not just a store, it’s an experience.”
Margie Braly, accompanied by son Stephen Braly and his wife Vicki, gave a brief history of the family business. She shared stories about her father’s first job as a log hauler, and how he earned $13.50 per week until he got married and received a raise to $15 per week. She also noted he worked about 80 hours per week for his wages.
“Our family life revolved almost totally around the business,” said Braly. “My father was involved in the store until he was in his 80s. He would be so very proud to know his family is still carrying out his legacy.”
Stephen Braly then thanked everyone who helped make Braly Builder Supply a Texas Treasure Business, and the “coolest hardware store on the planet. He thanked his staff, some of which have been employees for over 40 years, faithful clients, and the outpouring of community support during the renovation of the building.
“Our customers are the true treasures, along with the staff,” said Braly. “My grandfather deserves a lot of the credit, but my mom deserves just as much.”
Visit this Texas Treasure at 420 W. Palestine Avenue in Palestine, Texas.