Once home to Tee Jays Manufacturing Co., the industrial park where our studio – which we call ‘The Factory’- is located, is also home to many other manufacturers and distributors. Often it has been written that our community collapsed under the weight of NAFTA and the departing textile industry; however, that simply isn’t true. There are many strong companies that still find their homes here in this park on the edge of Florence and one, especially relevant to the upcoming 4th of July celebrations, is TNT Fireworks.
As Independence Day approaches, TNT’s Tommy Glasco took time from his busy schedule to talk about the company and their work. Founded in the late 1950s by Charles Anderson, TNT evolved from a former company called Alabama Sparkler. Anderson, founder of a successful book and magazine business, was seeking to sell seasonal products as a way of expanding his business. Fireworks were a successful fit. Over the years, TNT has become the largest distributor of consumer fireworks in the nation, possibly the world; however, they continue to maintain strong local roots.
This firework giant has a strong presence in our community, especially this time of year. Traveling the highways in and around North Alabama, you will see temporary stands in shopping center parking lots and at major street intersections. These makeshift stores generate needed funds for local groups and organizations.
TNT sells to and works with over 5,000 non-profits around the country, who then sell to their respective communities. These non-profits include schools and churches, and organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross.
Supporting local “mom and pop” stores and non-profits, TNT Fireworks, part of the heart of our community.