'Lake Wylie’s first hometown gun shop' opens Saturday

08/29/2014 10:24 AM

08/29/2014 10:35 AM

“Lake Wylie’s first hometown gun shop,” as the owners call it, opens Saturday.

Husband and wife Stephanie Efird, 39, and Jerry Leopard, 33, of Clover opened Jerry’s Place two years ago in 4,000 square feet at 121 N. Main St. in Clover. They decided to open a second store, Jerry’s Place II, at 4543 Charlotte Highway in 1,200 square feet in Plantation Square.

“It looks like an old Western saloon and will be a satellite store for our main, two-story store in Clover,” Efird said of the new location in suite 16.

Tina Marie Burke, owner of Gentlemen’s Cut downstairs from the new shop, is happy to have new neighbors.

“I think the exposure tucked away here will be good,” Burke said. “I’m excited for them and the more movement, back here the better.”

Efird said a second location is ideal because “most of our customers come from Lake Wylie.”

“Our blessing are bountiful in Clover and Lake Wylie,” Efird said.

The new store includes a granddaddy’s pit stop with couches and coffee pot where hunters, anglers and gun enthusiasts can mingle.

Jerry’s Place sells hunting and finishing supplies, guns, knives, tools and ammo. Products include Smoky Mountain Knife Works, SCCY pistols, and handmade knives and products made in the Carolinas. They also buy, sell and trade.

Bob Daugherty of Gastonia is their gunsmith.

“He’s one of the top 25 in U.S.,” she said.

Efird said they aren’t worried about the opening of Gander Mountain in RiverGate shopping center or Cabella’s moving in near Carowinds in Fort Mill.

“I’m excited about Gander Mountain and Cabella’s coming in. We’re just ourselves,” she said. “The plus is we have that hometown touch.”

She said Jerry’s Place offers layaway and still does “everything on a handshake.”

“I started with one gun and in a year sold 700,” she said of the businesses growth.

Her goal she said is to “help keep families safe, and to see people leave happy.”

After Efird was let go from her surgical dental assistant position during the 2008 recession and tried her hand in the cattle business, it was Jerry – who ran a security company offering body guard and armed security in the Rock Hill area – who suggested opening a gun shop.

“I wanted to give back to the community, and wanted to express myself and bring it out to other people,” he said.

He said a second store will help them “reach more people closer the state line.”

Leopard said their two years in Clover have been wonderful.

“Clover community has been good to us, and even out-of-towners have really come around,” he said. “God is good, and He blesses us with it.”

The couple, who have four children, are the only employees.

“We consider ourselves volunteers,” Efird said.

Jerry’s Place also offers one-day concealed carry handgun permit class for $100 two Saturdays a month, as well as private classes for 10 or more.

Store hours in Lake Wylie are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Call 386-473-6463 for more information.

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