Ace Hardware recognizes "cool" stores

From left, Calamari with Old Takoma's Gina Schaefer, Marc Friedman and Eric Hardy.

Ace Hardware has recognized four member stores with the company’s first-ever “Coolest Hardware Store” awards. 

The four winners, named during Ace’s annual Platinum Conference held in Las Vegas this summer, share common traits yet offer local flavor and product selection above and beyond most hardware stores:

• Sunshine Ace Hardware in Naples, Fla., located just minutes from the beach, is a reliable resource for locals and visitors, ready to hook the catch of the day and complete home maintenance projects. The store features aisles stocked with fishing supplies, including rods, hooks, sinkers, bobbers and more, along with a broad selection of do-it-yourself necessities. Michael Wynn, president of Sunshine Hardware, works with some associates that bring up to five decades of experience to their customers.

• In Charlotte, N.C., residents turn to Blackhawk Ace Hardware for home maintenance products, helpful advice and whatever pleasant surprises owner Jim Wilkerson has in store. The in-store Blackhawk wood shop is staffed with craftsmen that handle small wood projects, a service not offered in other Charlotte hardware stores. Blackhawk Ace also features a garden department stocked with unique plants selected by the garden center manager on regular trips to the Pacific Northwest.

• Suburban Washingtonians receive a green helping hand from Old Takoma Ace Hardware in Takoma Park, Md. The store has seamlessly integrated the local green-living commitment into its product offering. Carrying a variety of organic and eco-friendly product options such as paint, cleaning supplies, fertilizers, potting soil and recycled paper products, Old Takoma Ace owner Gina Schaefer has fostered a loyal customer base that can rely on the store to carry the products they desire.

• Across the country in Yankton, S.D., Kopetsky’s Ace Hardware provides everything Yankton-area residents need for outdoor recreation, from bikes to kayaks, on top of a stellar hardware selection. Owner Leo Kopetsky helps people avoid traveling more than 100 miles to a larger city in order to purchase equipment for outdoor activities and comfortable living at home.

“We applaud all of our winning stores, their owners and staff for their commitment to helpful service in the community,” said Kane Calamari, VP retail operations and new business at Ace Hardware. “Our co-op business model lends itself to stores that can differentiate themselves based on the community they’re in. We are proud that these four local Ace Hardware stores have made a strong effort to provide their customers with products that fit their way of life.” 

Owners received trophies to commemorate their awards.

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