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 220 of 248

HARDWARE RETAILING | May 2018 208 O ur last day on the road required another early wake-up call. We packed our bags and began our trek to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Our first visit was to Holmes Building Materials, where we met John and Matthew Holmes, the father-son team that runs the family-owned home improvement business. John and Matthew told us about the company's history, how they support their employees and what they did after the destructive flooding that occurred in the summer of 2016. Many of the employees at Holmes Building Supply were directly affected by the flood, and several lost their homes from the floodwaters. But the support of their employer and fellow employees helped them find their footing even after a natural disaster. It was so uplifting to see how close all of the employees were to each other and their deep gratitude for the help that the John and Matthew provided. After spending time with them and seeing their store, we left for our last location: New Orleans. We met with Lee and Robert LaFleur, brothers and second-generation owners of Mike's Hardware and Supply. They spoke about their experience through Hurricane Katrina and how the business helped hundreds of people in the aftermath of the storm. They also spoke about the power of being independent business owners and why they love what they do. "Our father built this business in hopes that one day we would show an interest and want to take over, and we did," Robert says. "I think he's very proud. It's enjoyable to be able to make decisions and call the shots without having to go through anyone else." Day 5 Travel Itinerary Greenville, Mississippi to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to New Orleans Miles Traveled: 361 (1,400 total) Hotel: Alder Hotel Independents Visited • Holmes Building Materials • Mike's Hardware and Supply • Massey's Professional Outfitters Food and Fun • Angelo Brocato's Original Italian Ice Cream Parlor • Wayfare Fun Fact: New Orleans is often called the Crescent City because of the distinctive curve of the Mississippi River that runs right through it. Holmes Building Materials in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, welcomed our team to the store. We met John Holmes (left) and his son Matthew, who he owns and operates the business with. They spoke about their deep support for their employees.

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