2018 Stihl Hardware All Star — Bernardsville Hardware & Supply (New Jersey)
HARDWARE STORES

Northeastern excellence in New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut

State by state, meet the 2018 class of Stihl Hardware All Stars.

BY HBSDealer Staff

It takes a little more to be a Stihl Hardware All Star.

Each year, HBSDealer solicits nominations from readers and the industry for Hardware All Stars.

And each year, we’re rewarded with a fresh class of high-performing, community-minded, service-oriented businesses worthy of the honor.

During the course of our research, we’ve met dealers who take risks, inspire staff and lift communities — or have what we call the All Star spirit.

Congratulations to all of the 2018 Stihl Hardware All Star honorees. Here’s four stars worth gazing at:


New Jersey
Bernardsville Hardware & Supply

When Drew and Renee Hubiak saw a hardware store for sale in upscale Bernardsville, they jumped at the opportunity. “It was based on passion more than anything,” Drew said. “I just felt the community needed that and wanted that, and we also saw an opportunity for ourselves to grow.” But some things had to change with the aging store’s vintage feel. When the store reopened in 2017, it entered All Star level. “We totally remerchandised all the fixtures, it’s just a more modern approach to an old-fashioned hardware store. That’s how I would describe it.”


New York
Alper’s Hardware

This 2018 True Value Best Hardware Store in Town honoree has been serving its Long Island community through four generations since 1911. The store is known for its selection, reliability, its great service and, increasingly, its annual Alper’s Karmacue. It’s a barbecue with karma — a street fair that raises money and awareness for the Community Chest of Port Washington. “I think the key to what makes us successful is embracing change,” said Adam Novick, fourth-generation co-owner.


Rhode Island
Cluck! Urban Farm Supply

This Providence farm and gardening supplies retailer has an unusual name to go along with an unusual path to All Star status. After battling regulators over outdated ordinances, owner Drake Patten skillfully overhauled an abandoned, unsightly gas station into an urban oasis of equipment for local garden and outdoor enthusiasts.


Connecticut
East Lyme True Value

Longtime employees provide stability and leadership at this All-Star store known for its big brands and healthy lawn and garden department. Case in point: manager Emerson Dexter started working here in 1982 as a high school student. Last year, he and his team were recognized as one of the top performers throughout New England for Stihl’s lithium-ion-powered offering. “When we can offer a quality product, we just knock it out of the park,” he said. Dexter also spearheads a successful cabinet design service.

See the full Class of 2018 Hardware All Stars — presented by Stihl — in the May issue of HBSDealer magazine.

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2018 Stihl Hardware All Star — TW Perry (Virginia)
HARDWARE STORES

Mid-Atlantic masters in Virginia, Delaware and Maryland

State by state, meet the 2018 class of Stihl Hardware All Stars.

BY HBSDealer Staff

It takes a little more to be a Stihl Hardware All Star.

Each year, HBSDealer solicits nominations from readers and the industry for Hardware All Stars.

And each year, we’re rewarded with a fresh class of high-performing, community-minded, service-oriented businesses worthy of the honor.

During the course of our research, we’ve met dealers who take risks, inspire staff and lift communities — or have what we call the All Star spirit.

Congratulations to all of the 2018 Stihl Hardware All Star honorees. Here’s three stars worth gazing at:


Virginia
TW Perry

After a makeover in 2014, the Springfield branch of pro-oriented TW Perry has enjoyed a double-digit-growth sales streak, fueled partly by a bolstered DIY offering. “We have a diverse staff, able to best serve a diverse customer base with a very large Hispanic core,” said Mike Moore, general manager of the location. TW Perry, founded in 1911, was the Youth Leadership Foundation 2018 Spirit of Service Award winner, a tribute to its community involvement.


Delaware
Action Hardware

“We wanted to be first in the phone book, back when phone books were important,” said owner Jeff Ulmer, when asked about the origins of this All Star. Ulmer’s father bought the store back in 1979. Today, Action Hardware wins Wilmington customers by being first in service. “Top notch customer service and a large selection,” are Ulmer’s two keys to success. The 8,500-sq.-ft. store is expertly merchandised and strong in lawn and garden. The store complements its hardware essentials with niches such as handmade woven rugs and decorative candles.


Maryland
Christopher’s Hardware

Fasteners are a signature category of this charming outside-the-beltway All Star in Sandy Spring. Glenna and Tom Christopher also take paint very seriously — the store became a full-fledged Benjamin Moore dealer last year, and a color consultant is available to help customers on Fridays and Sundays. Continual improvement is part of the Christopher culture. Case in point: the creative expansion of the store’s plumbing department into the store’s basement.

See the full Class of 2018 Hardware All Stars — presented by Stihl — in the May issue of HBSDealer magazine.

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2018 Stihl Hardware All Star — Gemmen's Home & Hardware (Michigan)
HARDWARE STORES

Service starts here in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania

State by state, meet the 2018 class of Stihl Hardware All Stars.

BY HBSDealer Staff

It takes a little more to be a Stihl Hardware All Star.

Each year, HBSDealer solicits nominations from readers and the industry for Hardware All Stars.

And each year, we’re rewarded with a fresh class of high-performing, community-minded, service-oriented businesses worthy of the honor.

During the course of our research, we’ve met dealers who take risks, inspire staff and lift communities — or have what we call the All Star spirit.

Congratulations to all of the 2018 Stihl Hardware All Star honorees. Here’s three stars worth gazing at:


Michigan
Gemmen’s Home & Hardware

What began as a 4,000-sq.-ft. store with one employee in 1955 has grown into a 42,000-sq.-ft. location with more than 50 employees. Its secret: A willingness to change and make difficult decisions, according to owner Andrew Gemmen. “We had to be willing to change into different categories and move away from categories like decorative furniture, home décor and hunting and fishing. Last year, we went through a massive change to Ace Hardware. Our willingness to change has kept us vibrant.”


Ohio
McAuliffe’s Ace

This 30,000-sq.-ft. hardware store in Marysville has 98 years of community involvement. Third-generation co-owner Dan Fitzgerald is proud of the store’s commitment and contributions to Reunion County. For instance, an annual dog wash supports local pet shelters. And last year, the store cleared out its rental department to help raise a record $198,000 for an auction that funds the Care Train charity for families in need.


Pennsylvania
Werner Lumber Ace Hardware

“We were Werner Lumber before, and now in the community we are known as the Ace store,” Craig Werner said. Operating in its fifth generation, Werner Lumber joined Ace Hardware in 2015 and has taken off when it comes to the hardware business. It recently renovated an abandoned clothing factory — which produced jackets for the 1970 Olympic team — into a 16,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art hardware store and maintains an adjoining 10,000-sq.-ft. building with windows, doors, building materials and rental equipment. Werner Lumber was recognized with Ace’s “Coolest Hardware Store” award. “We’re pretty proud. It’s a unique place,” Werner said.

See the full Class of 2018 Hardware All Stars — presented by Stihl — in the May issue of HBSDealer magazine.

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