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At last Thursday’s annual Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce awards celebration, David Varnedore received the prestigious Gene Chambers Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
This award recognizes the entrepreneur as a valued member of the Chamber of Commerce and leader of the community. It honors the individual who strives toward the highest levels of personal or professional accomplishments that benefit the well-being of Coffee County.
Beginning as a young boy in tobacco fields of South Georgia earning only a few dollars, David saved to buy his school clothes each year and learned at a very young age that hard work was very important. Today he attributes any success he has had in business to the work ethics established during that period of his life. He was taught that in order to achieve success, he had to be determined, dedicated and not afraid to sweat.
At the age of 17, he graduated from Coffee High School and entered the work force to help provide for his family. By the age of 24, he had learned to be a mechanic and opened his first business. By the age of 30, the business had evolved into David’s Auto Sales. Today there three locations with over 40 employees - Douglas, Waycross and Baxley. At the age of 26, he began a second business buying rental properties. Today, it’s known as Varnedore Properties, with over 80 commercial and residential properties. Other successful business endeavors include southern cooking at its finest at The Covered Wagon Restaurant on 441 South and after a full buffet you can go over to the next Varnedore-owned business, Peak Physique gym, to work it off.
During his spare time, David has a couple of other special projects underway. Renovations of the Supreme Meadow Gold Creamery building which will be the home of Johnny’s Pizza and loft apartments above. A second special project underway is the renovation of Wong’s Palace which will become a new funeral home. Celebrating 35 years of marriage, he and his beautiful wife Sharon have been blessed with two children, Mark and Amanda, and five grandchildren.