Proud independents in Maine and Massachusetts

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 two stars worth gazing at:

Richardson Hardware

This all-around retail All Star in Patton, Maine, operates in the shadow of Mt. Katahdin. Kayaks, hardware, greenhouses and a drive-through lumberyard are just part of the attraction. “We’ve been fortunate to withstand the online competition,” said Nate Richardson, whose great grandfather founded the business. “And the reason is our ability to change, adapt and differentiate ourselves.” Case in point: a new, 2,000-sq.-ft. hydroponics department that opened as the state voted to decriminalize marijuana use.

Carr Hardware

When this All Star received the 2018 Small Business of the Year Award, it did what comes natural — it gave back to the community. The $5,000 cash award for winning the Independent Small Business of the Year award (or Indie Award) was pledged to a park revitalization project in Pittsfield, the company’s main branch. The award was a national competition of all kinds of small businesses. “Our community supports us, and we support them,” co-owner Bart Raser said. “It’s nice to know we live in a community that appreciates the value and impact of independent small businesses.”

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