HARDWARE STORES

Two Ace stores win pretty cool award

Florida and California produce two of the co-op’s “Coolest Hardware Stores”

BY HBSDealer Staff

Hensel’s Ace Hardware of Arcata, Calif., appeals to the entire family, with its full-service paint center, housewares department and built-in, old-fashioned candy store.

Madison Ace Hardware serves its Florida town of 2,853 so well that it has a following of 7,983 Ace Rewards Members.

The two stores, both known for their community centricity, now have something else in common. They’re both honorees of the Ace “Coolest Hardware Store” award.

“Out of more than 5,200 Ace locations around the world, no two stores are the same,” said John Tovar, VP, retail operations and new business for Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware Corporation. “That local differentiation, on top of the service, convenience and quality our customers have come to expect, is what has Ace Hardware poised to stand the test of time. The teams at Hensel’s Ace Hardware and Madison Ace Hardware exemplify what makes Ace great— helpful, unique, and always striving to meet the changing needs of the community.”

The hardware co-op says it selects only a handful of Ace stores annually to receive the Coolest-Store award. The recognition is based on how well the store differentiates its offerings, services and culture to meet the needs of the community, Ace said.

Both stores were recently recognized at the Ace Hardware 2019 Pinnacle Conference in Las Vegas.

Here’s how Ace describes its two honorees:

Hensel’s Ace Hardware

Three years ago, Ceva Courtemanche purchased the store from her father and immediately set out to renovate and improve the business. Split between two different buildings decorated with historic photos from the community, Hensel’s Ace Hardware is known for its housewares department, full-service residential and commercial paint center, and full old-fashioned candy store.

Hensel’s is a destination for international and local gourmet candies, Benjamin Moore paints, and unique houseware gifts, but what sets the store apart is the focus on creating a friendly and fun environment.

From the store’s monthly spirit days where the staff dresses in a theme to compete for customer’s votes, to their traditional December “Ugly Ace Sweaters”, and even a free family-friendly Halloween haunted house, the folks at Hensel’s keep the in-store experience fresh and fun.

Courtemanche and her team’s commitment to the community goes beyond the store’s locally-focused product assortment, as she and her staff have become known in Arcata as a company willing to step up for the greater good.

Madison Ace Hardware

Tim and Lacretia McDonald own Madison Ace Hardware, and the McDonalds’ story is one of faith, family, and having a servant heart for their community. Tim is a full-time preacher, who left a job at a local paper mill because he felt called to create a different lifestyle for his family. Lacretia is a proud grandma, piano teacher, and the stores bookkeeper. Their son, Tyler, now serves as Madison Ace Hardware’s Store Manager.

Madison Ace Hardware

At Madison Ace Hardware, everything starts with an expertly-trained staff, who each sign a handbook of core values and work to earn the right to wear their iconic red vests.

While Madison is a small rural community in Florida with a population of 2,853, the Madison’s Ace Hardware already has 7,983 Ace Rewards Members. A true testament to the product assortment at the store and a reflection of the community’s support. Some of the product offerings include locally crafted, real wood outdoor furniture, national brands such as Traeger, Big Green Egg, Weber, and Yeti. The store also offers specialized outdoor items like camping, fishing, pocket knives, marine, expanded towing, collegiate merchandise, bulk propane and bulk kerosene.

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