After nearly 25 years at Brownsboro Hardware & Paint in Louisville and decades more in the hardware industry, Jim Lehrer officially retired on Friday, April 28. Hundreds of friends and longtime customers have honored Lehrer with several days of remembrances.
Last week, customers were invited to stop by, share stories with Jim and sign a guestbook. Others sent well wishes by video or on social media. And on Friday, dozens of family members and friends gathered with Jim and wife Marilyn at Brownsboro Hardware & Paint to honor his service to the community.
Do it Best President and CEO Dan Starr sent a message to Jim and Marilyn saying, “Both of you have added so much over the course of your careers to building up other people around you, from your service in wholesale, retail, on the Do it Best board, we are just so grateful that you have shared your lives with us.”
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who used to shop at Brownsboro Hardware & Paint before becoming governor, said, “Your leadership helped make Brownsboro Hardware & Paint a cornerstone of the Louisville community; a community you and your family care about and have given back to so much time and time again.” Beshear also cited the hundreds of thousands of dollars the Lehrers have raised for community projects.
Doug Carroll started at Brownsboro Hardware & Paint at 16 years old and over 23 years worked his way to manager, and now, owner. Carroll told Lehrer, “What you have done for me over the past 23 years, through some tough times and great times, both professionally and personally, has made me the man I am. I want you to know that I will never let you down.”
Lehrer gives a great deal of credit to his wife Marilyn. “When I think about 25 years ago, we came to Louisville, took all the chips we had, shoved them in the middle and said, ‘Let’s buy this little hardware store and see what we can do. It was definitely a team effort.” He also stressed the need for people in the community to “buy local” because, “that money stays in the community three times longer than purchases made at big-box stores.”
Lehrer won’t be resting for long. He will be taking on volunteer work at the local Habitat for Humanity and will continue to update their 150-year-old home. In addition, he still plans to volunteer for this year’s EGGFest Food Festival in Louisville, August 4-5.
Lehrer was honored with the Retail Beacon Award from The Hardware Connection in 2019. Known for its product quality and tremendous service, Brownsboro Hardware & Paint recently celebrated its 62nd anniversary. In addition, this year, the Better Business Bureau awarded Brownsboro Hardware & Paint the “Torch Award for Ethics,” and the Prospect Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Brownsboro Hardware & Paint” as “Best Employer.”
Brownsboro Hardware & Paint has two locations in Kentucky: 4858 Brownsboro Road in Louisville, and 9521 US 42 in Prospect. Visit www.Brownsborohardware.com for additional information.