As of October 1, West Virginia-based Tri-State Trophy has moved from Milton to Barboursville. Donnie Plybon purchased the business from Bobby Elswick, who ran it for over three decades from the same location off of U.S. 60.
“He needed to retire, and I was looking for something different to do,” says Plybon. “One door closed and another one opened.”
Before taking over Tri-State Trophy, Plybon worked as a grocery manager. So far, it’s been a learning experience, according to Plybon, who moved the business into a garage on his home’s property. To make room for the business, he had to sell his classic car and pool table.
“(Elswick) had 31 years of stuff and I bought it as a lot, so there’s quite a bit of moving around and reorganizing,” he explains.
The new location is about five miles from the previous storefront. Due to some phone redirection errors and with it not being off a main road anymore, Plybon explains he has lost some business in the transition.
Despite those initial difficulties, he says that he likes the challenge of working in this industry. “Every time someone comes through, it’s something different,” he adds.
Before Plybon purchased the business, Elswick was the only employee. Plybon continues the business as a sole employee but anticipates the potential of taking on more employees in the future. Plybon plans to retire in about three to four years and hopes that his kids will take over, or he will sell it to someone else.