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Julie Evans/HHJ Larry Walker gives Robert Lumpkin Jr. a plaque in recognition of 50 years in business.
Managing Editor
“Anytime my kids called and said something was wrong with their car, I said call Robert,” Larry Walker laughingly said as he congratulated Robert Lumpkin Jr. for his 50 years in business.
Walker noted that Lumpkin Shell is more than just a service station in Perry; it is an asset to the community.
“Just read his sign, new and used tires, sausages and hotdogs. You can get it all, a used hotdog,” Walker said as laughter erupted from those gathered for the celebration Friday.
In 1962, Lumpkin worked briefly for Hodges Milton at Milton’s Filling Station when Milton decided to sell his business. Lumpkin took a chance and bought the station. Typical of the times, the business agreement was verbal and Lumpkin rented the small station for $35 a month.
It wasn’t long before Lumpkin wanted to grow his business, so he invested in Sinclair Gas (now known as BP). The business took off and soon the small filling station became a service center.
In 1977, Lumpkin Shell Service Center relocated to its Swift Street location.
Lumpkin, who is Perry native and the oldest of 12 siblings, has a great love for Perry.
“Perry is the best place on earth to be. I love this town and I am very honored to be recognized,” Lumpkin said.
In addition to being recognized for his 50 years in business, Lumpkin Shell was also named Perry’s Business of the Month.
Rob Brooks, chairman of the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “Lumpkin Shell is a great business and very deserving of this honor.”
Billy Grace, a long-time friend of Lumpkin’s, said, “Robert is a dependable person, and a good friend. He is a good person and I am so happy for him.”
Lumpkin Shell is the oldest African-American owned and operated business in Perry. Lumpkin is married to Gaynell Adams Lumpkin and they have two sons, Corey and Alex. Lumpkin also has two grandchildren, Alexa and Alonda.

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