Hardware Retailing

MAY 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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Page 212 of 248

HARDWARE RETAILING | May 2018 200 A fter the first day of the Great American River Road Trip came to a close in Minnesota, we arrived in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and went to The Charmant, a luxury boutique hotel. The building is a renovated candy factory, which was built in 1898 and was in operation for 35 years. This was one of my favorite hotels, and it wasn't just because I received chocolate during check-in. The interior design choices were carefully made to capture the golden era of candy manufacturing. For example, a picture box with candy tins that were used to package the chocolate manufactured in the building was showcased in my room. On Tuesday, we continued to Davenport, Iowa. By early afternoon, we began our second day of visits. This was the only day that we did not visit a hardware or home improvement business, but we discovered other wonderful independent businesses. One of my favorite stops was at a used bookstore and cafe called The Brewed Book. We met Tony Fuhs, who opened the shop with his son Trevor when he retired. They purchased a vacant building in Davenport's Hilltop Campus Village and had a lot of work to do before opening. Fuhs says they worked with architects and construction companies to update the building. At the store, we met Scott Tunnicliff, director of the Hilltop Campus Village, a Main Street Iowa Urban commercial district. He says revitalizing buildings to house businesses like The Brewed Book makes a bigger impact than new construction. After a long day of retail visits, we checked in at The Current to rest before heading on to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in the morning. For a more detailed look at all the businesses we visited in Davenport, visit TheRedT.com/trip-ia. Day 2 Travel Itinerary La Crosse, Wisconsin, to Davenport, Iowa Miles Traveled: 187 miles (337 total) Hotel: The Current Independents Visited • The Silver Key Tattoo • The Brewed Book • Abernathy's • The Full Kit Food and Fun • Simply Coffeehouse & Eatery • Up Bar • Me & Billy Kitchen and Bar Fun Fact: Ronald Reagan began his career as a radio broadcaster in Davenport, Iowa, before moving to Hollywood to be an actor and eventually becoming the 40th president of the U.S. While traveling to different locations, several local television stations reached out to spread the word about Independent We Stand and the importance of shopping locally. In Davenport, Iowa, Bill Brunelle (right) answered questions for a segment on the local evening news.

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