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Sliger’s Market returns family tradition to Brownwood

After his investors decided to close Hometown Market and sell the property, Cullen Sliger had to decide whether to retire or take a risk and resurrect Sliger’s Market, which had been a Brown County mainstay.

Saturday morning streams of customers with milled about the aisles of flowers, trees and other potted plants of Sliger’s Market, confirming Sliger’s commitment to returning a family tradition was not in vain.

“It’s just like old Hometown. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. If you can’t go to Sliger’s and by something – plants, vegetables, things like that – you can’t buy it nowhere,” Gary Stovall said. “Me and Cullen have known each other all my life. He buys black-eyed peas from me. It’s nice to know you can take something home and if it’s wilted the next day, then you can bring it back and he’ll take care of you. He wants you to be satisfied. [Our money] is going home and staying home. Cullen supports a lot of organizations here.”

The resurrection of Sliger’s Market began last September when Hometown Market owners Bertha and Cayla Furry announced their plans to sell the property to a business developer with Bertha looking to retire and Cayla looking to focus her efforts on the blossoming Early real estate market. Sliger managed the store since 2011 and after hearing the Furrys’ decision found a property on Coggin Avenue, then contacted the city for assistance in keeping his family’s tradition alive.

"Brownwood went above and beyond to get this going. Any business that wants to come to Brownwood needs to know the city will work with them any way they can,” Sliger said.

“They rezoned and said it would take three months. They got it done in four weeks. They put my curb and gutter in, gave me money (through a Brownwood Municipal Development District grant) to pay for the curb. There is irrigation water here. The city of Brownwood has an ordinance that says you can’t get back on it once it’s cut off. They rewrote the city ordinance just so I could get irrigation water.”

In preparation for Saturday’s soft opening, Sliger and his wife Kim spent much of the day Friday, and into the early hours of Saturday morning, getting the property ready. Two hours into the soft opening customers grabbed lemons trees to purchase Harris Nursery employees set them down after delivering them from their location in east Texas.

“It’s great. [The customers] are the reason we did it,” Sliger said. “We love our customers. I’ve been waiting on them ever since I was a kid. It wasn’t easy, we stayed up pretty late last night, about 2 a.m. I think. It’s been pretty steady all day. People have been waiting for me to open. We’re going to do great. We sell good quality plants. My dad opened it in 1953 and he was still a junior in high school. I couldn’t let that legacy die. This is what he wanted and I’m going to keep it alive.”

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