Hardware Store All-Stars: Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa

HCN congratulates the 50 hardware store, home center and farm & ranch retailers who made the annual HCN Hardware Store All-Star list.

Now in its third year, HCN's annual list of high performers recognizes hardware stores -- one from each state -- that are outstanding in their field. The complete list and analysis can be found in the September issue of HCN. Meanwhile, HCN Daily will work its way across the country with mini profiles, continuing this week with Nebraska, Kansa and Iowa.

Nebraska: The tiny community of Ashland felt the absence of its local lumberyard when it closed, but luckily, recent retiree Dean Curtis decided to rise to the occasion. With some help from the SBA and Do it Best Corp., Curtis purchased a portion of the former lumberyard property and finished with a remodeled building containing twice the retail space. Today, C&L Hardware operates on the premise of "we may not have it now, but we can get it for you" - modestly downplaying its, in all actuality, fairly extensive product offerings.

Kansas: Megan Menzer, the fourth-generation owner of Newton's True Value Hardware in Independence, puts a decidedly fresh-faced spin on business proceedings. Borrowing knowledge from her father and using her next-generation savvy to bring the store up to speed, Menzer recently opened the new location in Independence with a Destination True Value format and a whopping $42,000 in sales during the first three days alone. Her handiness with social media, resourcefulness as a DIY consultant and rotating schedule of store events has caught the attention of a younger audience, many of whom are buying their first homes.

Iowa: Serving its small community of 1,500 people well is Marcus Lumber Company, a lumberyard stocked with 10 delivery vehicles, 25 employees and an 18,000-sq.ft. showroom. This wealth of resources contributes to A-level service, and with four of the youngest generation working full-time in the industry, the fourth-generation business has managed to stay firmly in the family. With a fully engaged community and staff, the business has firmly cemented itself as a Marcus mainstay.

Next week, HCN will highlight All-Stars in Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. For the full state-by-state list of HCN Hardware Store All Stars, click here.