Local Business Owner Turns 100 Monday

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PANAMA CITY - A well known Panama City business man will be celebrating a big birthday next week. Ellis Fowhand of Fowhand's Furniture turns 100 Monday.

6 days a week Ellis Fowhand gets up at 4:30 A.M. and drives himself to his furniture store, Fowhand's Furniture.

You may recognize him from his TV commercials and even though he's turning 100 years old soon, Fowhand is involved in his business, from talking with customers to cleaning up the store.

"I'm just grateful for every day I have an opportunity to get up, get dressed, and come down to work," said Fowhand.

Fowhand built Fowhand's Furniture company in 1958. It quickly became a staple of the Panama City business community.

His secret to success?

"There is no secret. If there was, I'd sell it for a lot of money," said Fowhand.

But hard work is probably part of the formula. Fowhand typically works from 6:00 A.M. to 6 P.M...What he calls half days.

He's surrounded by several family members, and by employees he considers his adopted children.

"Everybody thinks he's my father. He is my father. So he's my adopted father from another father i guess. I love the whole family and i feel like they're part of my family," said Sheila Churchwell, a senior decorator consultant.

While most people would consider reaching the age of 100 a milestone, Fowhand says, for him, it's just another day.

"I'm going to start on the next day after 100 there. Don't you think that'd be a good idea?," said Fowhand.

Fowhand's birthday is Monday. He says he expects to work a typical day at the store.