Sparr Story - Celebrating 70 Years!
The magic began in 1947 on three acres, ten miles north of Ocala, Florida. Not all the roads were paved and the only other building nearby was a small church located just across the street. The surrounding agricultural community was growing and a need for building materials, farm supplies, and livestock feeds emerged.
Mr. and Mrs. Elbert Griggs opened Sparr Building and Farm Supply with a vision to provide a quality product and willingness to treat each customer like family. The original store had gas pumps and groceries along with general hardware and lumber merchandise. Long-time customers still talk about materials being unloaded by hand from railcars and carried to the store and lumberyard. In 1981, the Howard family purchased the business from their aunt and uncle – the Griggs.
As the community grew from dominantly agricultural to semi-rural residential area, the customer base steadily increased and the family-oriented environment continued to be an important component to operating the store. Customers found it uplifting to walk in the store and be welcomed by their name from a sales clerk. Continued success allowed Sparr Building and Farm Supply to expand and build a larger store in 1990. It is located directly across from the original building.
Over the years, Sparr Building and Farm Supply has maintained a positive reputation throughout the area. Locally, when residents say, “I’m going down to Sparr,” most are referring to the store instead of the town where resides. Today, brothers Sam and Paul Howard actively own and operate the business. By dedicating themselves to the business, and working hard to keep strong family values and traditions a part of the everyday operations has led to tremendous growth.
As of 1998, Sparr Building and Farm Supply had grown from a small retail store to the largest farm fence dealer in the state of Florida. The Sparr location covered 15 acres which includes a showroom, state of the art lumber yard, warehouse, and hay storage. A new statewide delivery service became available and also included drop shipments of merchandise throughout the United States and South America.
Expansions began again in 1999 with the addition of a second store in Williston, Florida. The location was perfect and the values upheld by Sparr’s ownership and management fit right in with those in the community. The residents accepted and welcomed the new store because of the reputation Sparr Building and Farm Supply had built throughout the state.
In 2003, Sparr Building and Farm Supply acquired a third store in Wildwood, Florida, and has currently moved to a 30,000-sq. ft. facility at 6000 Signature Drive, at the corner of Signature Drive and Highway 44, in Wildwood. With three locations in North Central Florida, Sparr is better able to serve the state by continuing the tradition of providing quality products with genuine service.
The expansions of the Sparr and Williston locations were completed in 2004, giving both locations more warehouse space and a state of the art lumberyard. The Sparr location is currently covering 30 acres.
Sparr Building and Farm Supply carries a wide array of products. Fencing materials include: CCA, MCQ, and Creosote post, fence boards, non-climb wire, field fence, corral panels and gates. We also carry all types of building materials including lumber and plywood. Sparr also stocks Purina, Nutrena, Manna Pro, and Buckeye feeds for horses, cattle, poultry, as well as for exotic animals like koi, tortoise, and llamas. Other items include livestock waters and feeders, cattle handling equipment, horse stalls, buckets and animal health supplies.
Inside the stores you will find electric fence supplies, tools, a lawn and garden section, plumbing and electrical, automotive, paint and much more.
There are statewide delivery services available and Sparr can ship anywhere in the United States, South America and the Caribbean. Sparr is involved in the International Agricultural Trade Council and offers bilingual sales assistance if needed.
Sparr Building and Farm Supply recognizes that without the loyal customers from the communities they are so proud to be a part of, their success and continued growth would not be possible.