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Meet Recent Golden Hammer Winners, Retailer Uncovers Historic Windows

Covered up for three decades, a historic set of windows at Meyer Ace Hardware in Petoskey, Michigan, are opening up a new view. Co-owner Matt Meyer says the windows were boarded over during the 1970s energy crisis because they were inefficient.

The windows overlook Pennsylvania Park, which is popular with tourists and home to Farragut’s Cannon, the Blue Star Memorial and a statue of a young Ernest Hemingway.

“Previously, when you were in the park and looking toward our store, you wouldn’t have known there’s a hardware store with unique and fun items,” Meyer says. “All you could see was brick and plywood.”

When they first uncovered and restored the windows, Meyer says he planned on putting up 7-foot fixtures in front of the windows and displaying housewares for people to see from the outside.

“Once we saw the view of the park from inside the store, we completely changed direction,” Meyer says. “We are now using smaller, shorter display tables so customers can see the park out of the windows.”

As a hardware store in a destination town, Meyer Ace Hardware carries local items and gifts, and Meyer says he plans to utilize the new windows to display these specialty items.

“The new windows highlight our housewares and gift items,” he says. “We’re planning on adding more souvenir-type items customers can purchase to remember their time in Petoskey, and we will display those items in this area.”

Retailers Receive Golden Hammer Honors

One of the most distinguished and hard-to-achieve awards in the home improvement industry, the Estwing Golden Hammer Award from Estwing Manufacturing Co. is awarded to retailers with 50 years of service. Learn more about three retailers in the independent channel who were recently bestowed with the honor.

Gene Kelly, Kelly’s Ace Hardware

Gene began his long and storied career in the hardware industry in 1958 when he joined his brother Wayne Kelly at Kelly’s Ace Hardware, which opened in 1925 and is located in Chelan, Washington.

“I never expected anything for what I’ve done in my life. I always felt so lucky to be able to have a career as rewarding as this has been,” he says. “We would not be here without the support of our patrons and past employees who made Kelly’s Ace what it is today. We are truly blessed to employ and serve the quality of people we have.”

Dave Nordal, Regina Home Building Centre

Dave started his journey in the home improvement industry working for a lumberyard when he was between jobs. He spent 45 years with Regina Home Building Centre before partnering with four of his fellow employees to purchase two Home Building Centre locations in Regina and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

“I’m thankful to all the staff I have had the pleasure of working with over the years and the customers who have played a big part in my journey,” he says. “Thank you to my family and all the friends I have made along the way. It’s been a great life.”

Photo Credit: Kelsey Wells

Tom Schanken, Morris Hardware

As the sixth-generation owner of Morris Hardware in McConnelsville, Ohio, Tom Schanken’s career in hardware began at a young age, sweeping floors, wiping counters and stocking shelves. A hands-on owner, Tom still performs these tasks several days a week, happy to tell the young workers these jobs were how he got his start.

“I’m proud of the legacy my hard work has created, and I am confident in the direction the next generation is taking,” he says.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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