Making a Difference: Ben Franklin continues to be the fabric of Fayetteville through pandemic

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – It is time for another edition of Making a Difference Monday.

We’re working alongside the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, the Fayette County Health Department and New River Health to shine a light on businesses who have stepped up to help the community during the pandemic. 

This week, it is all about local staple Ben Franklin in Fayetteville who has had all the right supplies to meet all of the community’s needs.

“Our fundamental philosophy has always been to service the community, and if you service your community well, then your community and your customers will support you, and that’s a lot of what’s happened since the beginning of March,” owner Michael Rahall said. 

As Fayetteville’s oldest retailer, that philosophy has served them well.

While 65 years in business might not prepare you for a pandemic, what 65 years in business can do is allow you to know your customer base so well that you can easily adapt to meet their needs.

That’s why Ben Franklin started doing personal shopping and curbside pickup for groceries and all other supplies including one of the most vital during this time: fabric. 

Co-owner Donna Rahall oversees that department.

“Elastic, fabric all of the mask-making supplies, and we’ve been able to provide that and using the Facebook page to reach out to the community in a safe way to let them know what we had,” Donna said. 

The Facebook page and the need nationwide for fabric allowed them to even expand their business as they began shipping across the country.

Here locally, as Ben Franklin has always been known to have an abundance of supplies and knick knacks, they have become a go-to quarantine spot for home decor for DIY projects and puzzles and paint by number kits to keep those at home occupied. 

“We’ve been blessed that we have the right merchandise mix at the right time to help our community and service our community,” Michael Rahall said. 

Throughout this uncertain time, they have been able to keep their longtime customers, expand their business to get some new ones all while keeping their staff employed. 

“This has not been easy on anyone and they’re working very long, hard days, and we would like to thank them, and we would like to thank our customers that continue to support us through all of this,” Donna Rahall said. “It’s very much appreciated.” 

If you would like nominate a business to be next week’s Making a Difference Monday feature, head over to fayettecounty.com/makingadifference

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.