Ace Hardware Corporation is proud to recognize two local Ace Hardware stores with the company’s eighth-annual “Coolest Hardware Store” awards. Ace Hardware, the world’s largest hardware cooperative, selects only a handful of Ace stores annually to receive this coveted recognition – all based on how well the store differentiates its offerings, services and culture to meet the needs of the community.
The winning stores are Hensel’s Ace Hardware of Arcata, CA and Madison Ace Hardware of Madison, FL. Both stores were recently recognized at the Ace Hardware 2019 Pinnacle Conference in Las Vegas. These stores share common traits yet offer local flavor and product selection above and beyond most hardware stores.
“Out of more than 5,200 Ace locations around the world, no two stores are the same,” said John Tovar, Vice President, Retail Operations and New Business, 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.”
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.
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.
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.