Downing’s began in 1963 when Tom and Lois Downing opened Mary Carter Paint Store on the corner of 11th and Gurnee Ave. in Anniston, Alabama.
A year later, with the support of their customers, the couple expanded by purchasing the adjacent fabric store. A seed rack was installed on the paint side and thus began the transformation into Downing's General Store.
In 1986, Tom and Lois’ son Robert “R.D.” Downing became manager, continuing the customer service his parents had provided for 23 years.
The “fabric side” of Downing’s is well known as the place to find quality upholstery material at low prices.
The “seed side” of the store, no longer carrying paints, has grown into a one-stop-shop for gardener’s needs.
R.D.’s son Lewis became the 3rd generation manager in 2011, humbly bringing the family into their 50th year of business in historic downtown Anniston. Today Downing's General Store has become Downing and Sons.
When it opened, the store was a place Tom and Lois could teach their four children–Barbara, Tommy, Robert and Sam–the value of loyalty, honesty and customer service; and most importantly, that every person that walked through the door was treated equally.
Today these values are carried on by their grandchildren and great grand children. Downing and Sons continues to remain a place to find a familiar face and friend.