'It’s not Home Depot, but it’s close'

By Jody Conrad | Special to the Press Gazette

For those who live in East Milton, a trip to one of the big box stores of Pace for an item or two can be an odious experience, battling traffic and spending the time getting there and back.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative in East Milton: HBM Tools, Equipment & Supplies for Home and Business.

Bob Hunley is the owner of HBM building supplies in East Milton.

“We’re a small Home Depot,” said owner Bob Hunley. “If it’s at Home Depot, we probably have it here.” 

Located at 8013 Highway 90, Hunley opened his store in November of 2019. Many of the items he stocks are what consumers head to the big box stores for, like generators, water heaters, household appliances, vacuum cleaners, painting and plumbing supplies, and garden tools.

“But we carry much more,” Hunley said. “I stock AC window units, power tools, microwaves, and flooring. You name it, I’ve probably got it.”

Lawnmowers are only a small part of HBM's inventory.

Hunley said he got the idea for his store after church one Sunday when he overheard two gentlemen talking about going to an auction, and he decided to make the trip and see for himself. 

Not intending to buy anything, he ended up calling his wife and telling her to bring the trailer. It turns out that this auction, and others like it, sell overstocks and discontinued or returned items from Home Depots around the country.

“What this means is that you can basically get a lot of stuff you could buy at a Home Depot for an incredibly discounted price,” Hunley said. “I normally go to an auction twice a month, so I have a new supply of items every week.”

Hunley says that in addition to selling home goods, “we do repairs on lawnmowers and small engine equipment like chainsaws and pressure washers.”

Bob Hunley opened his HBM store in November of 2019 and carries many of the same products you would find at a big box retailer.

He added that business has treated him well, and he plans to put on an addition to his building soon to accommodate more outdoor items, like lawn furniture. Hunley also operates a trailer business from his location.

Bob Hunley and his wife Cindy moved to the East Milton area three years ago and opened their business shortly thereafter.

“I enjoy the buying and the selling,” Hunley said, “and I love meeting new people and the friends I’ve made in this business.”