HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Southern Home and Hearth has seen a few seasons. They opened in 1981.
Their doors have well-worn handles and hinges that squeal with familiarity. But in the store, its’ the hiss of gas you hear most right now. There’s not too much foot traffic.
Owner Ken Davis says it’s “certainly not boom times by any means, because of the weather.”
The products you find in here give you an idea why, everything from wood stoves to gas logs.
Hot soft light streams through the windows. The high temps are bad news for those who make their living keeping people warm.
Davis explains, “The warm weather is definitely a major factor as far as urging people to go ahead and do it right now. We all tend to procrastinate and put things on the back burner and wait until we have to have it.”
A charming hearth, a simmering flame – these are things that give warmth to a home in many ways.
Even still – the industry hasn’t exactly been on fire itself.
Davis adds, “When we first opened in 1981, there were seven, eight of these type stores around and more looking to open. And now there’s two or three. There’s just not that many anymore.”
Every warm winter makes it more difficult still.
Here, they’re counting the days until christmas, but they’re counting the degrees too.