By Chelsea Pyne
Opening its doors in the fall of 2014, Ace Hardware has become a staple in the lives and homes of Kernersville residents. Seeing upwards of 100 customers a day, Ace has been providing our town with the finest tools, garden accessories, home decor, plumbing, and electrical needs available. Hardware is in the name, but so much more is offered.
After an inspirational visit to another Ace Hardware, the Mickiewicz family had a sensation–something felt right. Owner and store manager Michael Mickiewicz explained, “My dad grew interested in hardware stores after visiting a local Ace Hardware in Charlotte. So he contacted them to become part of the cooperative. You could say that hardware has been in our family’s blood. My father was a building contractor, my brother is into architectural restoration, and up until I began running Ace, I was a Scenic Carpenter for the theater.”
The next step was to find the ideal location, and it did not take long for the family to settle on Kernersville. “I grew up living in small towns and this is what I want my soon-to-be family to grow up in as well,” Michael added. “Most options in Greensboro were limited and I was looking for somewhere smaller to set up shop. I remembered Kernersville from visiting Spring Folly and decided this was where I wanted to set up my life, for me and my family.” Since the move, the Mickiewicz’ have implemented a successful store and have been happily involved in the community.
Michael explained, “We hope to be a part of Spring Folly this year, as it was the event that got me interested in Kernersville in the first place. We are also participating in more activities with the Chamber of Commerce and looking for more opportunities to help out locally. In addition, we are welcoming other local business owners to come in anytime and share their wisdom and experience with us. In return, we can offer great deals on products and also offer their services to other local customers.” Exemplifying the fact that small towns depend and thrive on a family-like community, the Mickiewicz’ are thankful to have had the support of Kernersville residents from day one.
Despite construction setbacks on Union Cross Road, Ace has been growing consistently and has more expansions planned for the coming spring. Stihl products, power tools, and the light bulb and plumbing departments are all getting revamped. As the weather gets warmer, Michael advises to start thinking ahead. Lime and fertilizer season is on the way and folks need to have a good lead time before sowing seeds or planting flowers this spring. Ace’s garden center is a great resource for supplies and questions when it comes to getting the yard ready.
For other needs, from soldering irons to zucchini spiralizers, a wide range of products ensure that customers never leave empty handed. Many services are also available. Propane resale, key cutting, small engine repair, and special order services on over 65,000 items are just a few ways in which Ace employees can accommodate customers. As such, Michael takes customer service very personally. “One of the most exciting experiences for me was that two of my loyal customers became members of our Ace team and family. Both had a strong love for the store, and are now happy to show the same love and helpfulness that we shared with them to our customers.”
Phil Fisher is one of the twelve staff members who started out as just a guy looking for some duct tape. Phil explained, “This was the old school neighborhood hardware store that I have not seen in decades. It is very nice to have an Ace so close as well as a great inventory to choose from. I met Michael during the grand opening and welcomed him to the neighborhood–later on he welcomed me back onto his crew. Now, I truly enjoy going to work every day. Not everyone looks forward to their work week, but the ambience and camaraderie of Ace is such a rewarding experience.”
Ace Hardware has sales every month and major sales during holidays. The shop is also starting a monthly sidewalk sale in order to create bigger savings for local customers. Ace is located on 1537 Union Cross Road and is open from 8 a.m.– 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1–5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 336.497.4191 or visit AceHardware.com.
Michael concluded, “I cannot go anywhere in town without running into one of my many customers; and I always have people asking me how the store is going. It has been a very strengthening experience to have a town behind you.”