By Kathy L. Collins

Kathy and Larry Rutledge are the proud owners of the FishHawk Pinch-a-Penny located at 16715 FishHawk Blvd. in the Sweetbay Plaza. Along with their son, Jim, the Rutledges have operated this neighborhood pool store for five years.

When Larry announced that he wanted to own a pool store, Kathy could not have imagined where she would be five years later. Since purchasing the store, Kathy has worked hard to get her contractor’s license, and she was recently honored with an award for the Fastest Growing New Store.

“Receiving an award like this means the world to me,” said Kathy. “I could not be more proud. We would not, however, be where we are without the support of the community,” added Kathy.

The award came as a complete surprise. Kathy and Jim attended a Trade Show in Orlando, and it was there that Kathy received the award.

Since opening the store back in January of 2008, the Rutledges have been committed to the notion that you do what you say you are going to do with one customer at a time. It is this neighbor to neighbor mentality that has made the FishHawk Pinch-a-Penny the successful store that it is.

“We treat our customers like our neighbors. In return, they treat us like neighbors,” said Larry. Going into the FishHawk Pinch-a Penny is like going into a neighborhood store of long ago. They remember their customers’ names and are willing to help no matter how big or small the problem is.

“We never say no to requests from the community. Businesses cannot operate in an environment where they are obliged to give to organizations and groups without receiving something in return. In this community, residents get it that you have to help one another, including local businesses, so that is why we are willing to help when asked,” explained Larry.

The FishHawk Pinch-a-Penny is a full service neighborhood pool store offering a free seven point water test, expert advice, chemicals, equipment, systems and the famous Big Green Egg. Stop in and say hello to a neighbor. There is always one Rutledge at the store ready to assist their neighbors.

For information, call 655-3700 or visit


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