Cotton Valley Trader prepares to open

Published 7:50 am Friday, November 20, 2020

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VALLEY — Ray Edwards has sold everything from wall to wall inside Valley Resale and has given the keys to the building to new owner Craig McCullough of Montgomery, who will be opening Cotton Valley Trader in the building early next year.

“We will be selling locally-made goods such as furniture, candles, soap, hand-stitched quilts and all kinds of items for the home,” McCullough said. “The items we will have in the store were made by people who live in Alabama, the closer they live to Valley the better.”

The new business will be the second one McCullough owns in Valley. He owns the Thrift Store, located in the former Hayes Hardware building on Highway 29 in Langdale. The former Valley Resale location will be a second iconic place where he will be running a business.

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Edwards ran Valley Resale at that location for 35 years.

“I’ve been telling Craig that Valley is the best little town in Alabama to live or to run a business. Jackie and I had a very good run in this store, and we are glad we did,” he said

McCullough said that people from Valley and the surrounding area will find many interesting and unique items at Cotton Valley Trader.

“You won’t find it on Amazon,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent in our state, and you will see it in the items we have in our store.”

McCullough wants to help people build on a unique ability they have to make things with their hands.

“I want to get people from the hobby stage to the business stage,” he said. “I will walk them through to making things for fun to making money with what they create.”

Vendors are welcome to have their merchandise there.

Cotton Valley Trader could be open as early as December, but McCullough expects to be in full swing by January. At the outset, he will be open from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. EST on Thursdays through Saturdays and will later expand from Tuesday through Saturday.

“We will make a big splash when we open,” he said. “That will probably be around the first of the year. We want to make a good first impression.”

A man of faith, McCullough is a booster of the Exodus Ranch in Opelika. He’s excited about having a second business in Valley.

“God is taking us in a different direction right now,” he said.

He likes the location right next door to 6A Valley High and a heavily traveled section of Highway 29.

“We have some flexibility in what we do,” he said. “We like the way things have been going at the Valley Thrift Store. We have a very good customer base. A good many people spend the same amount of money with us each month. They buy different things but usually spend the same amount of money.”

McCullough is inviting everyone to come and check out Cotton Valley Trader when it’s up and running. It will give them the chance to see what gifted Alabama craftsmen are making, and they may find some items they want for their home.

Edwards won’t be sitting still at home now that he’s no longer running Valley Resale. For now, he’s very busy with his annual Christmas stocking program.

He and his family members will be stuffing large Christmas stockings with fruit, candy and small gift items. As Christmas Day nears, he and great-grandsons Gavin and Ky will be distributing them at senior centers and assisted living facilities throughout Chambers County.

The seniors love it, and it’s always heartwarming for the Edwards family.

Edwards is also planning on having a museum at his home. He will be displaying an amazing collection of political memorabilia he has gathered over the years. When he’s ready with it he will be showing it to visitors by appointment.