Medina Journal-Register — Customers used to visiting Hahn’s Ace Hardware on West Avenue visited the new Ace location at East Center Street over the weekend during its grand opening celebration.
Owner Roger Andrews, who bought the Ace store from the Hahns a couple years ago when they retired, said he originally planned to enlarge the store site when he made the purchase.
“When we were closing on the building, the Hanhs’ attorney told us about this building right here in the village sitting here vacant,” Andrews recalled.
The building used to house Jubilee, a grocery store. Andrews said the new Evans Ace Hardware (named for a place, not a person), came about after a lot of work done with the Orleans County Industrial Development Agency.
Gabrielle Barone, Vice President of Business Development for the Economic Development Agency in Orleans County, said the building’s status as a “gateway” played a role in bringing Andrews and the agency together.
“He paid all the back taxes and interest on the building,” Barone said of Andrews, adding how he has also taken advantage of the county-wide revolving loan fund to improve the structure.
And, according to Barone, it truly needed work.
“It was in very poor condition and deteriorating because it had been vacant so long,” Barone said. “We were almost at the point of no return.”
Barone said Andrews was thrilled to find an existing building in the village and made changes to it in tune with the rest of Medina’s business district.
“It’s the eastern gateway to the village, and he tried to compliment the village’s Main Street look with the improvements he made,” Barone explained.
Barone said part of the reasoning behind staying in the village was the ability to maintain an already established customer base. And, over the weekend, those customers got a glimpse of what the new location has to offer.
“We’re not just a hardware store,” Andrews said. “We’re like a mini version of Lowes.”
Asked about the competition in the area, Andrews added competition is good for the customers.
“Tractor Supply Company came to town,” he said. “They sell some of the same things we do, and they sell some things we don’t.” Andrews noted each of the handful of stores offers something unique.
With a family in Grand Island and another store in Derby (near Hamburg), Andrews said he considered himself local to Western New York and he also mentioned how proud he was keep Ace in the village.
“The Hahns were in the village for 24 years and did an excellent job,” he said, adding he looked forward to maintaining their legacy.