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“I Love My Local Hardware Store” Winner – Haveman Hardware in Fremont, Michigan

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Diane and Bob Stehouwer - Owners Haveman Hardware in Fremont, Michigan

Diane and Bob Stehouwer – Owners Haveman Hardware in Fremont, Michigan

We are excited to have selected the winner in the ‘I Love My Local Hardware Store’ contest.  It was a tough decision to pick one out of the hundreds of entries we received, but we found one in particular that stood out.  But before we tell you more about our winner, we want to share a little more with you about the retail stores and the stories you told us.

Haveman Hardware in Fremont, Michigan

Welcome to Haveman Hardware

It’s apparent that an awful lot of you love your local independent hardware store for a lot of different reasons.  Many of you, like Pamela Gietzman, spoke about great customer service.  She noted that her local store, Haveman Hardware, “will find whatever you need for your project in the quickest possible way.”  Others told us poignant stories of how their hardware store stepped up to solve a problem, as was the case of Debra Norman, whose husband lives with a disability.  She explained, “some friends spoke to other friends about building a ramp so my husband could get from the house to the car much easier.  In the end, the good folks at Mackey Lumber in Valdosta, GA donated the lumber and manpower to build the ramp for him.” Another great tale of going the extra mile is from John Supica, who tells us his neighbor bought a snow blower from local hardware retailer Welna Ace Hardware in Minneapolis, MN.  At the time of his purchase, the weather was so bad that the customer couldn’t get to the store to pick up his purchase. So an employee filled up the snow blower with gas and oil and used it to clear a path from the store to his home! That truly is customer service!

Craft Section at Haveman Hardware in Fremont, Michigan

Haveman Hardware has plenty of craft supplies available

Diane Stehouwer Helps in Crafts at Haveman Hardware in Fremont Michigan

Diane Stehouwer helps out customers in their crafts section

And then there are those who appreciated the unusual.  For instance, Carole Brinks loves her local hardware store because of the craft department, Edgar Shaff swears by his store’s plumbing section, and Margie Lease loves “Patti” in her local store’s paint department.  But one thing resonated throughout the stories you submitted:  the people who work in local, independent retail hardware stores are just plain helpful people!  Thanks to each and every one of you who took the time to write us.  Your stories enlightened, informed, entertained and, at times, overwhelmed us…. but more importantly, you always made us smile!

Bob Stehouwer Serving Up Free Popcorn at Haveman Hardware in Fremont, Michigan

Bob Stehouwer serving up fresh, free popcorn to their customers

And so we congratulate Michele Ferguson, who told us about her favorite store, Haveman Hardware in Fremont, Michigan.  She wrote, “from the time I was a little girl holding onto my Dad’s hand, I have loved, loved, loved the hardware store”!  She continues, “today the aroma still brings me back to those special trips for one project or another.  Thank you, Diane and Bob (Stehouwer, the owners), for taking me back to my childhood with every visit!”  It just doesn’t get better than that!

Stay tuned for our next contest, which begins March 1, and a great big “Thank you!” to all who entered!

The PlanItDIY Team

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