As the shelves become empty, an era is coming to an end. On Friday, Browning Hardware closed its doors for the last time.

For several weeks items have been marked down, 50-70 percent off, allowing items to be sold quickly.

In the middle of helping customers, Mike and Carol Browning took a moment to share some experiences from their nearly 26 years of operating the store.

In 1991, the Brownings purchased the store from the Leonbergers. The Brownings also added that the Leonbergers helped them get started as well as providing support in this new endeavor. For Mike this was a new chapter in his life since he had worked for the Leonbergers more than a decade previous to the purchase.

As time went on, the Brownings updated and began to carry items that were needed. Some items would go out of style while other items would always be wanted. In addition, carrying paint had proved to be a good choice since it sold very well.

The Brownings made sure their customers were taken care of.

“We have had a good customer base,” Carol said.

Throughout the years, a strict customer base has enjoyed the personal service that they find at the hardware store. If individuals had questions, Mike or Carol would answer them.

Equally as good as their customers, they have also had good help at the store. One of the most recent employers became the wife to Mike and Carol’s son.

The hardware store has grown to be a staple in the community and many are sad to see it close. Reasoning behind the closure is simple. The Brownings are ready to pursue the next chapter in their lives.

“Some people are sad, but they understand why we are closing,” Mike said.

After everything is cleared, the building will become part of Maggie’s Bar and Grill – since space is needed to house the large crowds that flock to this downtown eatery.

The Brownings wanted to thank all the customers they have had throughout the years. For it is them, who made Browning Hardware a success in downtown Boonville.