Family Medical Supply Stores Sold

A hometown business that grew from a single location into an operation of stores spanning eastern North Carolina will soon join a nationwide empire. Family Medical Supply will join AdaptHealth on Aug. 7. AdaptHealth is a nationwide medical equipment company based in Pennsylvania.

“Age, retirements, tough times in the industry, a combination of things,” Billy Tart said when asked why his family decided to sell the company. “The last four years in the industry have been tough.”

Joey Tart joined Dunn Medical Supply on May 4, 1990 when it was a small shop in Dunn owned by local businessman Pat Godwin. On Jan. 1, 1992 he bought the business from Godwin and planted the seed to success. That one seed blossomed into 18 locations with Joey Tart and his brother, Billy Tart who came onboard in 1994, at the helm.

Today, the local chain boasts over 300 employees, according the Tarts, between its stores in Aberdeen, Cary, Clinton, Dunn, Fuquay-Varina, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Lillington, New Bern, Raleigh, Shallotte, Smithfield and Wilson as well as the company’s corporate headquarters in Dunn.

“Throughout this process to sell has been a difficult decision and a very emotional decision,” Joey Tart said. “We started with four employees. Throughout this process, at the forefront has been to try and provide for our employees and a future for them. Not to sell to a company that would dissect it or chop it all up.”

The transition to AdaptHealth will certainly have a Tart family flavor included. Brad Heath, who is described by his uncles Billy and Joey Tart as one of the principal owners, will take over leading AdaptHealth operations in the southeastern United States.

He will oversee the new owner’s locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.

“AdaptHealth has adopted an agreement to continue to operate this building,” Heath said. “The Family Medical Supply name will continue to be used.”

As part of the sale, all employees are slated to remain with the company, something which was very important to the Tarts. The brothers agree their employees have been loyal to Family Medical Supply and they want to see that loyalty returned to them, something AdaptHealth has promised.

“All of our folks are going to stay,” Heath said. “And it will create some opportunities for some of them and I’ll stay on as regional president of the Southeastern United States for AdaptHealth.”

Like Family Medical Supply, AdaptHealth offers a variety of health equipment services from mobility products to bed and bath aids and home modifications.

Family Medical Supply was originally named Dunn Medical Supply. It was renamed Family Home Medical Supply when the Tarts decided to open a second store in Fuquay-Varina.

A decision was made around a year later to shorten the store’s moniker to it’s current incarnation, Joey Tart said. “There were too many words.”

“In 1996, we added the 18 additional locations with all of them operating under the corporate office here in Dunn,” he said.

Throughout the Tarts’ ownership of the business, the brothers have always tried to maintain a dedication to patients and their families, guaranteeing satisfaction.

When both men walk out the door for the final time as owners, Billy Tart says he’s ready to travel and see his grandchildren while Joey Tart will be out of work for the first time since he graduated high school in 1977.

“Since I graduated high school I’ve never been without job, so right now I’m going to be between jobs for the first time ever,” he said. “I have not had a future planned, this has always been our future. For 30 plus years, I’ve been right here in Dunn trying to make the business grow and be a part of our community.”

-Dunn Daily Record