(Posted June 19, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
If you sit down for a chat with Dave Mabe at his store, be prepared for interruptions. Any time of day, a steady stream of customers will call or walk in, buying and placing orders for everything from socks to customized baseball jerseys.
With each call or ring of the front door bell, Dave will politely excuse himself and tend to his customers. It’s this devotion to service that has made him a go-to fixture in the community. It also has earned him the title of this year’s Strawberry Festival parade grand marshal.
Dave graduated from London High School in 1976, studied business for a year at Franklin University, then went to work full-time in the family business. At the time, the store was known as the Youth Centre/Lamppost and was located at 19-21 S. Main St. in London. The name changed in 1983 to Mabe’s Clothing & Athletic Apparel when it moved across the street to 18-20 S. Main St., where it remains today.
Dave works alongside his mother, Martha, from whom he took over full ownership of the business in 2011. They pride themselves on quality, service and convenience.
“We’re not corporate affiliated, so we don’t have to look or play like the big stores. We’re more personal. We know our customers better; they’re not just barcodes,” he said.
Dave extends this attitude to his volunteer work. He is chairman of the London Area Baseball Council, for which he has served as a coach, board member and/or board officer for 14 years. He also spent 10 years volunteering for Junior Achievement, sharing lessons in business and economics with young students in area classrooms.
Just as Dave and his family have given to London, so has London given back to them.
“Whenever we’ve needed help, the community has stepped up for us. We’re greatly appreciative of everything the community does for us,” he said.
Dave has two children, Christy, a nurse at London Correctional Institution, and Aaron, who works at the Statehouse, and two grandchildren, Avery and Alexa, all of whom live in London.