GREENVILLE – The sign in the window says “Business for Sale.”
No, Club 7 Sports is not closing its doors.
Jim and Debbie Shoemaker, owners of the Martin Street sporting goods store, spent this past week reassuring customers near and far they were open for business.
“We’ve been trying to sell it for a couple years,” Jim Shoemaker said. “Our intentions have always been to sell the business. Closing would leave a hole in the community.”
Since putting the Business for Sale sign in their window, Shoemaker said they’d had “a lot of lookers.” The business is listed on “a couple websites,” also, he said.
The couple opened their Greenville store in 1992, after running a similar business in Union City, Shoemaker explained.
For more than 25 years, Club 7 has offered customers a variety of services, such as school spirit clothing including shirts and varsity jackets, banners, signs and trophies. Customers also may find other sports-related clothing items and gift items at Club 7.
“We also do a lot of business with area fire departments and rescue squads and contractors, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops,” Shoemaker said. “We do a lot of business with schools in Darke County, Miami County, Shelby, Warren and Butler counties, and some in Indiana.”
Club 7 Sports also provides the Darke County Junior Fair trophies.
Club 7 services include silk screening, embroidery and digital printing. The business has 13 employees, including Jim and Debbie.
“It’s a place,” Jim Shoemaker said of Club 7, “where people go to buy the things they need to buy.”
Not only does Club 7 work with providing area schools and teams with spirit clothing and accessories, the business also has sponsored several summer youth league teams over the years, as well as providing financial assistance to local school sporting activities, for example raffle drawings.
“We try to cooperate with the kids,” Shoemaker said. “We feel our business is of value to the community. We depend upon our reputation and pride ourselves with our customer service.”
When the Shoemakers eventually sell their business, they plan to remain in Darke County.
The couple’s family, including sons Steven, the fire chief in Union City, Ind. and Bill, who works as the assistant police chief in Sidney – plus six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren – will keep them in Ohio, even though they do enjoy spending time in Florida. “Hopefully we’ll be able to retire this year,” Shoemaker said.
PHOTO CAPTION: Club 7 owners Jim and Debbie Shoemaker are looking forward to retirement after serving the community for more than 25 years. (Susan Hartley photo)