AUSTIN, Texas — Callahan's General Store has been a staple to the southeast Austin community since 1978. But the products aren't the only reason people come to the store – it's because of the Callahan family.
Beloved family member and face of the store Murray Callahan left a permanent mark on its customers.
"People flocked in here to see Murray Callahan," said Mike Young, Murray Callahan’s cousin.
Murray Callahan would greet every single customer who walked through their doors.
"With Murray Callahan, you were greeted at the door with a friendly smile, a toothy grin, a warm handshake and a sincere, ‘How are you doing?’ or ‘Are you doing all right today?’" said Charley Wilson, president, CEO and general manager of Callahan's General Store and Murray Callahan's nephew.
Young said it was something Murray Callahan was born with.
"I don't think you can teach that," Young said. “You have to have a genuine love of people. You have to love what you're doing, and he clearly loved what he was doing. He loved people.”
Young continues to live out his cousin's legacy with these qualities Murray Callahan taught him.
"I was sent over here to learn under him, and boy, did I ever," Young said. "You learned how to treat people, how to get people to trust you, to tell him the truth, and his knowledge was just invaluable."
Murray Callahan was one of eight children of Callahan's General Store's founders, Earl and Lucy Callahan. He was a born leader, a trusted friend and a true cowboy. But to his cousin and family members, he was much more.
"He was my hero," Young said.
"He's irreplaceable," Wilson said.
The way he took care of his customers like his own family is something they will always remember him by.
"He had a stamp and impression that made you never forget what the Callahan's family was all about, and what the business of Callahan’s General Store is all about," Wilson said.
His legacy is telling of the type of man he was.
"He was a unique individual," Young said. "They broke the mold when they made Murray Callahan, and if we had more people like him in the world, we would be a whole lot better off."
With each new generation that takes over the store, Murray Callahan's welcoming spirit will continue to live on.