Beggs Funeral Home of Thomson has been named the 2010 Small Business of The Year.
The prestigious honor was announced during a Business After Hours event sponsored by the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce last Thursday night.
This year's award was presented to Keith Beggs, owner of Beggs Funeral Home by last year's Small Business of The Year recipient Scott Williams of Williams Sewer & Drain. During the special gathering, Mr. Williams presented Mr. Beggs with a special plaque in recognition of his years of service to people in Thomson and surrounding areas.
"The Beggs Family believes by its nature that the funeral business should be family-oriented, comforting neighbors and friends during a difficult time," said Mr. Williams after announcing that Beggs Funeral Home had been named this year's Small Business of The Year. "I am told that from the beginning, their advertising slogan has been -- Our family serving yours . For Keith Beggs and his family, this has been more than a motto and is in fact a way of doing business.
"Even though some family members have pursued other careers, they still can be found helping out around the funeral homes in both Thomson and Lincolnton when needed. In Thomson, it is not unusual to find Keith's wife, Candy, working along side him, their son, Chase, helping his father with a service or making a memorial video for a family. Their daughter, Carrington's voice is often heard on their radio commercials."
Mr. Beggs called the honor that he and the family business received a humbling experience.
"I was shocked when Scott announced that Beggs Funeral Home had been named the 2010 Small Business of The Year," recalled Mr. Beggs during an interview with The McDuffie Mirror . "It really caught me off guard. I feel very proud, blessed and honored to receive this kind of recognition from the members of our local Chamber of Commerce."
Mr. Beggs said the award wasn't his, exclusively
"We operate as a family business," he pointed out. "It's not about me, alone. It's about my whole family and our fine staff. We all have a hand in it. I don't know what I'd do without their help."
The staff in Thomson consists of Dean Payton, who serves as funeral home assistant and Gloria Mitchell, who serves as secretary. Candy Beggs, who works at the Richmond County Board of Education in Augusta, also helps her husband part-time as does their son, Chase.
Beggs Funeral Home, located at 799 Cobbham Road NE in Thomson, built a bigger and more modern facility in 1999 and closed their original site that was located in what today is known as Hammond and Hammond Law Firm on Main Street. It opened in 1990 after the family decided to expand their business from Lincolnton to Warrenton, having purchased the former M.W. Callaway and Sons Funeral Home.
"We had a vision of providing a more modern facility to better serve this community and surrounding areas," said Keith Beggs.
Today, the family business, which was founded by the late Carlton Beggs, only operates in Thomson and Lincolnton. Carlton Beggs and his wife, Ellie Ruth, started their family funeral home business in neighboring Lincolnton in 1978. From the beginning, the business grew to become respected not only in Lincoln County, but surrounding counties, too. Mr. and Mrs. Beggs' four sons, Bruce, Brian, Keith and Kevin all have been active in the family business since its founding.
Twins Keith and Kevin began their funeral home careers at age 19.
"It's something I knew I wanted to get into at a very early age, because I cared about people," said Keith Beggs. "We grew up having a passion for other people. We acquired that from our father. We've given and will continue to give the best service possible to those in need during times of death of loved ones."