At age 95, Dawson Taylor continues to be actively engaged in the business, and all three of Dawson’s sons have followed in their father’s footsteps. Joe Taylor is the current President & CEO of the company, while Russ Taylor serves as Vice President/Operations Manager. Oldest son Bob Taylor left the helm of Taylor’s in 2001 when he was asked to head Do it Best Corp., Taylor’s buying cooperative headquartered in Fort Wayne, IN. After 15 years as CEO for Do it Best Corp., Bob has returned home to Virginia Beach and continued to serve on the board for Taylor’s along with his father and his two brothers. Five members of the fourth generation of the Taylor family are now actively engaged in the family business.
"It always amazes me how much I can find in this small store. The people are very helpful, and many have been here for years."
After Over 100 Years, Pleasants Hardware Remains Family Owned and Operated
Much of the current success of Pleasants Hardware can be traced to the hard work and efforts of those who have helped to build this organization.
In 1908, Mr. S.T. Everidge conceived the idea of opening a small hardware store at 1607 West Broad Street. Two years later, Mr. Bill Brown bought the business from Mr. Everidge and called the store Bill Brown Hardware.
In 1915, Mr. Henry A. Pleasants bought the business from Mr. Brown and changed the name once again, this time to H.A. Pleasants Hardware. That same year, 17-year-old James T. Hatcher, Sr. went to work with Mr. Pleasants, beginning his 75-year career with the firm. Previously, Mr. Hatcher had worked for The Evans Hardware Company at 700 East Broad. When Mr. Pleasants retired in 1952, Mr. Hatcher Sr., or “Big Jim” as he was known by his employees, bought the business and added his son, James T Hatcher, Jr., as his business partner. His grandson, James T. Hatcher III, later joined the firm in 1984.
Pleasants Hardware enjoyed rapid growth through the 60’s. The store expanded its size, and the number of employees also grew. The 15 employees found at the store in 1962 had increased to 75 by 1975. That same year, Pleasants moved its original flagship store from Lombardy Street to the location at 2024 West Broad Street.
Pleasants Hardware’s Broad Street neighbor, C. F. Sauer, acquired Pleasants Hardware in 1989. On the occasion of his 93rd birthday, February 14, 1990, Mr. Hatcher, Sr. announced his retirement after 75 years with Pleasants Hardware. Later that same year, Mr. James T. Hatcher, Jr. also announced his retirement after more than 42 years with the company.
In January 1990, Pleasants Hardware opened its first branch operation, a Commercial and Industrial supply business, in Harrisonburg, Va. The primary focus of the Harrisonburg operation was providing Contract and Industrial supplies to customers in the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia.
In April 2000, Pleasants Hardware completed negotiations to purchase Tom Brown Hardware of Richmond, VA. The Tom Brown stores were owned and operated by John Wake and his sons, and their three operating units strengthened Pleasants Hardware’s position in the retail segment of the market. Since that time, Pleasants has added three more Richmond locations; one near the RIC airport, one in Chesterfield near the county courthouse and a third at the intersection of Libbie and Patterson in the West End.
In December 2015, C. F. Sauer announced that they would be closing the Broad Street Pleasants location and redeveloping that property into a new retail complex. Two months later, in February 2016, it was announced that Taylor’s Do it Centers of Virginia Beach, VA would be acquiring the remaining seven Pleasants Hardware locations. It was a perfect fit for the Taylor family. They’ve known both the Hatcher and Wake families for many years, and their company enjoys a 90-year history of their own. At the same time, Pleasants aligned their primary buying affiliation with Do it Best Corp., a member-owned hardware cooperative that now supplies Pleasants Hardware and Taylor’s Do it Center stores along here, along with 3,800 other independent hardware and building supply retailers across the country and around the world. The new ownership ensured that the now 110-year-old Pleasants Hardware would remain family-owned and operated, and remains committed to serving the Richmond market with convenient locations, quality products, and expert advice.
In his spare time, Darrell enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is a consummate DIY’er, and enjoys fixing things and turning trash into treasure. Darrell is always involved with a home improvement project. He also enjoys mountain biking, competitive cornhole, and his newest project: training his dog Benny to be a well-behaved Boxer.