Customers, community reflect as Baxley business closes

Customers, community reflect as Baxley business closes

BAXLEY, Ga. (WTOC) - Locking up for the last time Friday night, a community staple in Baxley is closing its doors.

Youmans’ Full-Service station has been around for 50 years. Friday, our Sean Evans went to see how much of an impact the business had over the decades, and how much it will be missed.

It was a full-service station full of faith.

“Father, we thank you for our friends here...and they’re more than friends. They’re our brothers and sisters in Christ."

They had a desire to do right by the community and the customers they’ve served for years.

“This is a legacy. I’m gonna cry. They’ve been doing this for years, and it’s over.”

To give you an idea of how much this place means to some, Baxley native Jackie McLean drove seven hours from her home in Florida to say goodbye, and get one last tank of gas.

“I had to," Mclean said, "I’ve known Tommy for years.”

Ever since owner Tommy Youmans posted that his business was closing on the marquee, there was an outpouring of support.

“Had 36 oil changes yesterday, I’ve just got two bays. That’s not counting the gas and the tires we changed, or tires repaired or brakes we’ve done. That’s just oil changes,” Youmans said.

Youmans has worked there since 1969, beginning in high school part-time, then full-time for the last 48 years.

“Lot’s of the same customers, lots of the same faces, but just generations later,” Youmans said.

He says family and loyal customers who have become family are the backbone of his business that has survived all those years; customers like Jami Bohannon.

“I hope and pray whoever may come here next can give us equal service, because they’ve really been great here. We really love them. The community just loves them," Bohannon said.

“This is like a pillar of the community here, and I’m so hoping and so praying that someone will take this station over and continue on with what has been for years," added Elaine Wilcher.

They are big shoes to fill for sure. Youmans doesn’t know exactly what’s next, but he’s glad to see the impact his business has had, as well as the memories he’s made working alongside friends and loved ones.

“Forty-eight years here full-time, and I just want to go home while I’m still walking," he said.

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