For the second year in a row, Home Channel News bestowed “All-Star Hardware Store” status on one store in every state. Here are the picks for Arkansas, California and Colorado.
Yeager Ace Hardware
Fort Smith, Ark.
Free popcorn and lollipops are among the customer perks at Yeager Ace Hardware, a third-generation business, which now has four locations. “My dad (Ernest) always thought it would be neat to have a hardware store,” said son Ed Yeager, who bought the business in 1982. The original store was just 3,600 sq. ft. “We didn’t have an intercom, so if we needed something from the back, we just yelled,” said Deborah Clark, Ed’s daughter, who oversees two of the stores.
Crown Ace Hardware
Huntington Beach, Calif.
Jeff and Mark Schulein aren’t afraid to walk away from an acquisition or new lease if it doesn’t seem exactly right. Yet the father-son team now operates 17 stores, mostly in Southern California. San Diego is their newest territory, and the family -- which has a “No shop talk on weekends” rule -- sees plenty of opportunities to expand there.
Littleton Ace Hardware
This two-location dealer holds a “Grill Your Ace Off” barbecue contest each year where 25 teams with names like “This Flame is Not Yet Rated” vie for Ace gift cards. All grilling is done on Big Green Eggs, although the June 9 competition will introduce Webers. All proceeds benefit the Children’s Hospital of Colorado.