Two Ace Stores Recognized with ‘Coolest Hardware Store’ Award
Ace Hardware Corp. has recognized two Ace Hardware stores with the company’s ninth-annual “Coolest Hardware Store” awards. The winning stores are Woodville Ace Hardware of Tallahassee, Fla., and Downtown Walnut Creek Hardware of Walnut Creek, Calif.
John Tovar, vice president-retail operations and new business at Ace, said, “The teams at Woodville Ace Hardware and Downtown Walnut Creek Hardware exemplify what makes Ace great—helpful, unique, and always striving to meet the changing needs of the community.”
Aside from its core hardware stock, Woodville Ace Hardware differentiates itself by expertly attending to the unique rural community it serves. From offering feed and seed, a large equine department for the many horse farmers in the area, a large garden and gift center so customers can avoid a trip to the city, or even beach umbrellas and coolers for the hour trip to the beach, Woodville Ace Hardware prides itself on being a one-stop shop for the community.
What sets Woodville Ace apart are the special events it hosts including an annual Ladies Night that attracts local women for fun times, fellowship and deals. During Science Day, the store welcomes students from the elementary school across the street to learn about animals, plants and basic hardware.
Being the most helpful retail store in the area is the passion of the Woodville Ace team, and that desire is reflected in the store’s detailed employee training program. The store employs a training coordinator who oversees all onboarding of new employees, who each have a training goal set for them every month. The training also includes specialty vendor training for the feed and seed, equine and power equipment departments.
Walnut Creek Hardware opened in 2008 and quickly positioned itself as the “go-to” hardware store in the area offering a wide selection of convenient core hardware and garden products. Catering to the higher-end demographics in the surrounding area, the store began to focus on designer Benjamin Moore paints and color consulting alongside a distinctive giftware section to take advantage of paint customers waiting for their product.
The store expanded into an unused parking lot and an adjacent building, creating a specialty nursery and dedicated outdoor living department featuring grilling and patio furniture. It offers free delivery to the local retirement community.
Known as “The Ace with the Train,” Walnut Creek Hardware features an extensive “G-scale” model train that runs around the store on an elevated track. It includes two rail lines looping above the power aisle and around the checkout area. The track also showcases various handcrafted model replicas of famous bridges in the area, including the Golden Gate Bridge, New Bay Bridge, the Tower Bridge in Sacramento and a rail trestle bridge in Benicia.