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Mary Carter Store

Local business limelight

If you grew up or live in or around Cullman, chances are you know the Mary Carter Store. The beloved local business was founded as Mary Carter Paint Store on July 1, 1964, by Raymond Young in its current location at 104 Fourth St. SE.

Young, now 84, opened his business when he started selling paint as a Mary Carter Paint Store franchisee at 24.

“The paint store began in the same section you find hardware and keys in today. In the beginning, all you could find was wall paint, floor finishes and painting supplies. Although that was initially successful, Raymond quickly found out he needed to diversify to stay profitable and maximize his potential year-round. He added wall coverings, plaster molds, art supplies and custom picture framing,” said Raymond Young’s son, Jeff Young, who works at the store with his dad (along with other family members). “As other trends arose, he ventured into those as well. He began selling fishing supplies in 1967, with hooks, lines, sinkers and a few other angling tools and accessories filling a small 4-foot display. Rifles and hunting supplies have been a staple for his business model since 1969. As soon as some trends would come, others would fade from profitability. Wall coverings, plaster molds and art supplies are some offerings that faded over time from the selection one could find at Mary Carter Store.”

Today, the store has four 1,800-foot sections, said Young. The first contains homebrewing goods, wood stoves and a full-service custom picture framing shop. The next is a full fishing tackle and gun shop with a complete selection of lures and supplies for professional and weekend anglers. “Need new line on your fishing reels? We’ll spool them up for you while you shop around,” he said. “Next to the line-filling station, you’ll find a large selection of Henry rifles along with a good variety of other rifles, shotguns and handguns. Ammunition is not in short supply, either. If fishing and hunting sound like too much fun and working is more your thing, you need to check out our paint and hardware section. We still carry paint and sundries, as well as general merchandise you would expect to find in a hardware store. Nuts, bolts, hammers, brooms and extra keys can all be picked up from this one location. We also have a large selection of pressure cookers, canners and canning supplies.”

Young said the last section houses an “eclectic” collection. “You will find some overflow from the hardware section, but you’ll mostly find our Lodge cookware, bird feeders, wind chimes, kitchen appliances, electric heaters, Mason jars and Radio Flyer tricycles and wagons.”

A service Mary Carter Store provides that might surprise you? “We sell and program brand new original keys and key fobs for most vehicles.”

As a mainstay of the community, the Young family knows the importance of local businesses.

“As a local small business, I treat what we do as a community service – both to the local community and the local business community. Every decision we make is formed upon pillars of gratitude and servitude to these communities that we are a part of,” said Young. “With an abundance mindset, community service is easily both reciprocal and perpetual as all parties are continually rewarded.” 

  • The Mary Carter Store is located at 104 Fourth St. SE in Cullman.
  • Brenda and Raymond Young