Leigh Ann Akard opened up a pop-up shop in early May that is a return to roots for her business, Akard True Value Hardware in Zionsville, Ind.
Leigh Ann’s grandfather, JJ Akard, bought Zionsville Hardware in 1955, which was then located on the Brick Street, as Zionsville’s Main Street is affectionately called due to its brick pavement. He sold toys, gifts and hardware to a town that had a population of 1,822 in 1960. Today, Zionsville’s population is about 30,000.
Her father, Steve, purchased the business in the late 1970s and then moved it one mile away to a 25,000-square-foot space in the Boone Village Shopping Center.
With the business celebrating its 65th anniversary this year, a fortuitous event happened. The store’s original space on the Brick Street became available, so Leigh Ann decided it made sense to open up a pop-up shop there as a salute to her family’s legacy.
She teased the opening with a Facebook post showing the storefront door and the messages “History can sometimes repeat itself” and “What business in Zionsville is celebrating 65 years this year by opening up a ‘pop up’ shop in their original location?” People were encouraged to find the new Facebook page (Back to the Bricks-Akard Village Hardware) and like, follow and share the page for a chance to win a $65 gift card to either location.
Leigh Ann took over the space in March, but then her plans to open in April got stalled by the pandemic. “We’ve been so busy at the main store that it was tough to find time to work on the new store,” she says. A soft opening in early May will be followed by a grand opening and anniversary celebration when it is safe and appropriate for bigger crowds to gather, she adds.
Seeing a store reopen in the old space brings back memories for Steve, who says he thinks it’s neat to attract a new generation of shoppers Back to the Bricks.
The pop-up shop is designed to complement the main store, offering grill accessories, hanging flower baskets, home decor, signs, and kitchen, gift and faith-based items.
“I’ve got a one-year lease, so we’ll see what happens with this pop-up store,” Leigh Ann says. “We view it as just another way to serve the community that has been so good to our family for 65 years.”
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