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Reeve’s family passes store to new owners after 44 years

A new chapter is about to be written in the history of Reeve’s Linens and Gifts.

After 44 years, Tom and Gloria Reeves have decided to retire and sell their landmark store on the square to two newcomers. Only, they aren’t really new to the retail scene in Bainbridge.

Shae Brouillet and Amanda Rentz, both long-term employees at Godwin Jewelers, (28 years and 18 years respectively) have taken on the challenge of owning their own business. Their husbands Greg and Adam have also been helping to make a smooth transition.

The store officially changed hands on Wednesday, July 5, but even before that the new duo began putting their personal touches on the store. The past weekend was spent painting the interior walls, and displays have been rearranged somewhat.

They have also made a slight name change. It is now officially called Reeve’s Gifts, Jewelry & More.

Brouillet said they didn’t want to make many changes.

“After all, for 44 years it has been a very successful business in downtown Bainbridge,” Brouillet said.

They want to keep the identity associated with Reeve’s and will maintain most of the existing product, while adding some new lines of jewelry and expanding the housewares department. The two are looking forward to going to the Atlanta market next week to look over new products for the store.

There is one readily apparent bow to modern billing, as a new computerized system is being installed. However, they add that they will still have the same small town customer service as before. They are also keeping the same clerks.

The two women stress that they hadn’t really been looking to buy a business;

but they were in an informal group at dinner one evening when the topic came up that Reeves were interested in selling. As they both had retail experience, they decided to speak privately to Tom Reeves. In a matter of weeks it was all said and done.

So, where does all this leave Tom and Gloria Reeves? He is looking forward to doing more hunting and fishing, and says he may spend some time at the store occasionally. They both enjoy spending time at their cabin on the lake, and they want to do some traveling, especially to Texas to visit their daughter Amy.

Gloria said she hopes to volunteer in the community. She will be transferring her passion for retail and extending it to people and animals.

She is very happy and contented about the sale to the new owners. “The two women compliment each other and will do well,” she said, adding, “We are excited for them. They are a good match for this store.”