It takes a little more to be a Stihl Hardware All Star.
Since 2011, HBSDealer has reached out to suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, vendors, retailers and homeowners in search of high-performing, service-oriented, community-minded hardware store, lumberyard or farm and ranch dealers worthy of All-Star status.
It’s a tribute to this industry that each year brings a surplus of high-quality nominations. The companies profiled have earned their place on the list, and they join an elite fraternity of honorees.
Here’s to the class of 2017. Let the star gazing begin.
Woodland Do it Best Hardware & Home
The new-and-improved Woodland Hardware & Home, open since 2014, is only three blocks from the original location, in Woodland Park, but it’s two and a half times as large; and it offers an exceptionally picturesque view of nearby Pikes Peak. With 23,000 sq. ft. on offer to the public, the store is the result of a promise of “bigger and better,” made by owner Kelly Rodarmel after he bought the original business from his parents in 2007. Woodland prides itself on its inventory, which includes the largest rental equipment selection in Teller County. “I like to hear my customers say, ‘If you don’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist or I don’t need it,’” Rodarmel said.
This mom-and-pop store was proclaimed a “Columbus icon” by a state senator for good reason. In an era of big-box stores and consolidation, Military Hardware has proven the little guy can still compete. It initially dealt with a Wal-Mart opening in the same town; then came Lowe’s moving down the street. Asked for his secret sauce, owner Mike Perkerson cited “customer service, a wide variety of products and a little bit of luck.”
Gatlinburg Ace Hardware
The gateway to the Great Smokey Mountains, Gatlinburg suffered a devastating blaze in late 2016. And in the center of it was Gatlinburg Ace Hardware — amazingly spared from destruction. When the smoke cleared, owner Libby Murphy lobbied hard with local officials to open access to the store and keep the hardware flowing. An example of All Star community service, the store played and continues to play a role in the town’s recovery. “This store was a place for healing and hope,” Murphy told HBSDealer.