The story of Downing and Sons started in 1963 when Tom and Lois Downing opened Mary Carter Paint Store on the corner of 11th St. and Gurnee Ave. A short year later, with the support of their customers, the couple decided to expand their business by purchasing the adjacent fabric store. A seed rack was installed on the paint side and thus began the transformation into Downing's General Store.
In 1986, Tom and Lois's son, Robert (R.D.) Downing, took over the management of his parent's store carrying on the customer service that his parents had provided for 23 years. The fabric side of Downing's has become well known as the place to find high quality upholstery material at low prices; and the seed side of the store, no longer carrying paints, has grown into a one-stop-shop for gardener's needs. R.D.'s son, Lewis became the 3rd generation manager in 2011 humbly bringing the family into their 50th year of business in Downtown Anniston. Today Downing's General Store has become Downing and Sons.
Back then the Store, operated by Tom and Lois, was a place they could teach their four children Barbara, Tommy, Robert and Sam the value of loyalty, honesty, customer service and that every person that walked through the doors was treated equally. Today these values are carried on by their grandchildren and great grand children and continues to remain a place to find a familiar face and friend.