Contributed photo/A. Manciu
The Sawyer’s True Value family poses for a photograph before the True Value sign came down, to be replaced by Ace. Pictured are, left to right, front row: Olivia (3), Ethan (5), Solomon (3); back row: Colton (12), mom Cora, dad Jared and Ruthie (10).
As of Monday, March 12, 2018
Sawyer’s customers have likely noticed some changes to the storefront — the True Value signs have all been taken down and Ace Hardware trucks can be seen pulling up out back.
In addition, there is a Hallmark Gold Crown store inside.
Last fall, Jared Sawyer struck a deal with Ace Hardware to convert the store from True Value.
“I have received a lot of questions, either asking why we were going out of business or why we sold the business to Ace,” Sawyer said, “neither are happening.”
Though the changes appear phenomenal, Sawyer assures customers that the family business will operate similarly to how it always has.
“[Ace] is not a franchise and they don’t dictate how we operate. We are 100 percent independently owned and operated,” Sawyer said, joking that they have the freedom to call the business “Jared’s Happy Hardware Hut” should they choose to — but they chose to “fly the Ace flag because the brand has value, people know and trust and we want to be on that bus,” he said.
Ace operates as a member-owned cooperative, meaning that the retailers own the corporation and can customize offerings to their liking, taking what benefits customers in their area and leaving the rest.
Signing on with Ace gives Sawyer’s Hardware customers access to “better product selection at lower prices,” Sawyer said.
Some new brands Sawyer’s Hardware customers will have access to are Craftsman tools, Toro lawn mowers and Big Green Egg barbeques, among others.
In addition to partnering with Ace, Sawyer announced that they were working with Hallmark, who asked to open a store inside the hardware store. Hallmark’s recent business model had been the “store within a store concept,” Sawyer said, adding that the company has successfully operated inside other Ace Hardware stores.
“We are firing on all cylinders,” said Sawyer.
Since purchasing the business from his parents last June, Sawyer has been preparing for change.
“Now we have complete ownership and more freedom to do more aggressive changes that we’ve been waiting on before,” he told the Chronicle in January.
Jared and his wife, Cora, are the fourth generation of the family business that started with Shirley and Gladys Sawyer in 1940.
This year marks the 78th anniversary of Sawyer’s, which has evolved from a grocery store to a variety store and then to a hardware store and rental service.
The business has been burned down and rebuilt, and moved twice over the years. Sawyer’s has been part of the True Value co-op since 1979.
Jared Sawyer returned to the family business in 2004.
“We are incredibly thankful to be able to purchase the business from my parents,” he said, “they did so much to grow this business into what it is today.”