(Michelle Felter, Staff)
SIKESTON -- A new set of May Brothers is making an entrance into the Sikeston business scene.
Garrett and Gavin May are the sons of Alfred and Tanya May. Alfred May co-owns a fireworks franchise that has been in business for almost 40 years. The two operate the Sikeston business together, while Alfred May and his two sons have worked over the years to expand the business to other cities across the Midwest.
Earlier this year, Garrett and Gavin May purchased the former Lamberts Cafe Building in Miner for local fireworks sales, with the idea to do something more with it. The indoor fireworks location is open year-round, and Alfred and Lewis May will continue to run their Sikeston fireworks operation together.
"But now I'm turning the key over to my sons for a new generation of May Brothers," said Alfred May. "Both of them are ready to kind of get out in the world and do their own thing, and I'm ready to let them take over and see what they can do."
Garrett and Gavin May will spearhead special projects and seasonal displays set up in the building. They will also continue to work with their father to expand the fireworks operation across the nation.
"It's kind of a big shadow to follow," Garrett May said of he and his brother's new responsibilities. "You've got a lot expected of you, but it gives you something to work for."
Brother Gavin agreed, saying the two have learned quite a bit from their father and uncle through the years. "We've grown up in the business, and that's good. We've learned a lot from our Dad," said Gavin May.
In fact, the two have worked in the fireworks business since they were old enough to talk, said Alfred May.
He will continue to guide his sons, while slowing phasing out of the new aspects of the business he plans to hand over to them. His sons said they will continue to look for his guidance and learn by his example as they go forth.
Right now, as a a way to branch out, as well as keep business a bit more steady through the year, a Halloween Super Store has been set up in the building.
Open since September, the Super Store stocks Halloween decor, costumes for children through adults, baskets and more.
"It's just something extra to give to the community," said Garrett May.
Since opening, business has been swift, and the brothers only expect it to pick up more as Halloween approaches. "People say we've got good selection," said Garrett May. "So, they like what they see, I guess."
There is also a Haunted House, which began this weekend.
"It should be pretty good," Garrett May said of the Haunted House, which will be an about 20-minute journey.
Garrett and Gavin May are also considering other seasonal ideas, such as selling Christmas items and more. And in line with the elder Mays' new strategy to market New Year's as a holiday for fireworks, the duo will bring in New Year's party favors and decor closer to the holiday.
"We'll kind of be an every holiday type of store," said Alfred May.
In addition to assisting their father in expanding the fireworks sales across the nation, the brothers plan to sell Halloween and other seasonal merchandise in those locations, too, if feasible.
"We're looking to expand," said Garrett May. "We want for it to get bigger and bigger."
But the Sikeston community will remain the No. 1 priority. "It's always good for businesses to grow in this community," said Gavin May. "And this provides another, locally-owned option."
Gavin May added that, with the helpful staff, the service is more personal than some other retailers, especially chain stores, may offer. Those looking for specific merchandise can also sit down with staff to browse through catalogues and special order items.
May Brothers Enterprises, which houses the indoor fireworks location, in addition to seasonal items such as the Haunted House and Halloween Super Store, is located at 2515 E. Malone. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The phone number is 475-9155.