There are great hardware stores in every corner of this country. Home Channel News has identified 50 -- one for each state -- in its May issue.
Continuing the report of all-star hardware stores in order alphabetical, here are Florida, Georgia and Hawaii:
Sunshine Ace Hardware. Sunshine Ace has six locations in South Florida, but the downtown Naples store is unlike any of the others, said store manager Sherry Kish. Walk into the sporting goods area and you see a very large fishing boat. Above the boat is a mangrove and beside the mangrove are two large murals depicting the area. And all around, the store uses a cinnamon, beige and green color scheme to hammer home the one-of-a-kind impression.
Bates Ace Hardware. It takes a certain amount of confidence to build a 22,000-sq.-ft. hardware store on Home Depot’s home turf. The year was 1993, Home Depot was a $9.2 billion retailer, but Bates Ace Hardware had run out of room in its small, 72-year-old Atlanta store. Owner David Doss moved ahead with plans for a new building across the street, including a 12,000-sq.-ft. showroom and a 1,000-sq.-ft. lawn and garden center. A decade later, the Doss family added a 1,000-sq.-ft. climate-controlled greenhouse. Their courage is still on display: The store has a live video feed from its sales floor posted on its website at batesace.com.
City Mill. “Oahu’s favorite hardware store” isn’t just a slogan. City Mill has made the Hawaii Business Magazine’s “Best Places to Work” list in each of the last four years. It’s also a Sea Advertiser’s People’s Choice Award Winner. Brother-sister team Carol Ai May and Steven Ai run eight locations in Honolulu and across Oahu.
Coming on Thursday: Idaho, Illinois and Indiana.