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 214 of 248

HARDWARE RETAILING | May 2018 202 A fter a six-hour drive from Davenport to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, we made our way to Elias Ace Hardware. Store owners Fred and Tammy Elias were there to welcome us. They shared how they met working in Fred's family hardware store, got married and had children. The business was founded in Illinois, and they later opened a second location in Cape Girardeau, which is now their only location. They say Cape Girardeau is the place they plan on staying the rest of their lives. Customers return because the business not only stocks much-needed items, but also offers hands-on demonstrations, Fred says. According to Tammy, that advantage stems from having knowledgeable employees. "We have a great team who genuinely likes being around people and will go the extra mile for our customers," Tammy says. "Customer service is huge. We provide the extra level of service you won't find in the big-box stores." Scott Crader, co-general manager of Crader Distribution Co., the exclusive distributor of STIHL Outdoor Power Equipment in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and southern Illinois, stopped by the store, too. As a family business operator who serves other family businesses, including Elias Ace Hardware, Day 3 Travel Itinerary Davenport, Iowa, to Cape Girardeau, Missouri Miles Traveled: 380 (717 total) Hotel: Drury Plaza Hotel Cape Girardeau Conference Center Independents Visited • Elias Ace Hardware • Heroes Way • Crader Distribution Co. Food and Fun • The Southerner by Tractors Fun Fact: Travelers had to use ferries to cross the Mississippi from Missouri to Illinois until the state built a bridge in 1928. While in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, we met Tammy and Fred Elias, owners of Elias Ace Hardware. They spoke about how they met, operating their family business and the many ways they support their community.

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