A local New Holland dealership is under new ownership.
Premier Equipment Co. of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, purchased the property at what had been Hines Equipment at 1751 S. Wesleyan Blvd.
Premier Equipment is visible from the highway as a New Holland agricultural and construction equipment dealer, but the business also sells Mahindra tractors, Grasshopper and Exmark commercial mowers and Echo and Stihl handheld products. Therefore, Premier Equipment can serve farmers, construction companies, homeowners, landowners and landscapers.
Premier Equipment Chairman Andy Blanton said the company, which is new, particularly sees a need to serve customers in Nash, Edgecombe, Wilson and Halifax counties, as well as in Franklin and Johnston counties.
“There’s a lot of agricultural production still in this area,” Blanton said. “We think it’s vital to have a local provider servicing those customers.”
Blanton said Rocky Mount is a central location to address the needs of several of the surrounding counties.
Blanton said Premier Equipment acquired the property at the end of February and at the same time acquired the property at a similar business, Enfield Tractor and Equipment, at 148 Whitaker St. just off U.S. 301 in Enfield.
Blanton declined to disclose how much Premier Equipment paid for the two locations.
He said he had worked approximately 30 years in the food distribution business before stepping aside at the end of 2017.
“After a year of retirement, I was looking for something different and something to get back involved with — and the opportunity came along with some folks that were just terrific local business people,” he said. “And it really piqued my interest.”
He said the list of Premier Equipment owners includes Joel Boseman, who is an agri-businessman, and Steve Wordsworth, who is a wealthy businessman.
Another owner is Spencer Bellamy, who is president of Premier Equipment and who has long worked in the farm equipment business.
The list of owners also includes John Rich, who is a country music artist and who is shown on Premier’s Facebook page.
As for the source of the Premier Equipment identity, Blanton said, “We gravitated to the name because it reflects, really, kind of our company mantra — and that is we want to provide premier service to our customers.”
Blanton said at the South Wesleyan location, the exterior and interior of the building have been upgraded.
The location has 15 employees, with a mix of newcomers and employees who worked for Hines Equipment.
“We were able to provide an opportunity and continue on with a number of the employees that have had many years of experience in this business, as well as adding some new folks to the team,” Blanton said. “So we’ve been fortunate enough to kind of have a whole bunch of experienced folks and then be able to grow our team as well.”
The Premier Equipment location off South Wesleyan is set to have an official opening at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday led by the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce.
The location is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. The location can be reached at 252-446-0333 and has a page on Facebook.