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Madison Ace Hardware dubbed “coolest hardware store”

John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Since Madison Ace Hardware's opening in 2015, honesty and integrity has been the motto for the McDonald family as they've continually strived to make their store a place of convenience and comfort. Recently, Ace Hardware Corporation named Madison Ace Hardware as one of 2019's two "coolest hardware stores" in the nation. The McDonalds and one of their employees, Rodney McKinley, were honored at the Ace Hardware 2019 Pinnacle Conference, in Las Vegas, on Jan. 14-16.

"Madison Ace and the family here; the story had to be told. It's a great store," said Tom Parman, district manager for Madison Ace Hardware. "It's a beautiful store; it's well maintained, well managed, well staffed. All the right elements there, but the story goes way beyond that."

The McDonald family hails from Perry, Fla. Tim McDonald spent most of his adult career at a Georgia-Pacific mill in Perry, Fla., until deciding to pursue a career in leading an Ace Hardware store. His wife, Lacretia McDonald, who owns Madison Ace Hardware with Tim, is the store's bookkeeper. Their son, Tyler McDonald, is the store's manager. The McDonalds also have one daughter, Jackie Blue, who is the mother of two. Uniquely enough, the McDonalds also serve at a local church in Perry, Fla. Westside Baptist Church, located off of Hwy. 98, proudly congregates every Sunday morning to listen to the gospel of Christ through Tim McDonald, who is the preacher. Lacretia and Tyler play every morning on the church's worship team, preceding Tim's prepared and, sometimes spontaneous, sermon.

According to Ace Hardware, Madison's Ace Hardware store has approximately 7,983 Ace Rewards Members, while the City of Madison population is only near 3,000. At the local hardware store, customers can find brands such as DeWalt, Scotts, Black+Decker, Craftsman, Weber, YETI and Big Green Egg. Also found at Ace Hardware are Buck and Case knives, as well as Primos Hunting. Additionally, the store associates at Madison Ace Hardware are helpful in paint color matching, key and glass cutting, automotive chip key cutting, carpet cleaning rental services and so much more.

One key component of the McDonalds' store is their Business to Business sales (B2B). B2B services is a business sales model involving Madison Ace Hardware selling to other businesses. According to store owner Tim McDonald, B2B sales make up 24 percent of the store's income. "It's just a logical program for anyone that's serious about their store," said McDonald. Rodney McKinley is the B2B sales representative and has been successful in gaining the trust of multiple businesses in Madison County, including the Madison Creative Arts Academy, James Madison Preparatory High School and J+J Strong.

Additionally, Madison Ace Hardware has been kind to the students and educators of Madison County. Representatives of the local store have cooked hot dogs and handed out bags of chips to the students of Madison County High School and Madison County Central School. Tyler McDonald, store manager, also made mention of McKinley passing out popsicles to students and having too many left over. So, McKinley took the leftover popsicles and gave them to the teachers. "You should've seen their faces; they just lit up," said McDonald.

"Out of more than 5,200 Ace locations around the world, no two stores are the same," said John Tovar, Vice President of Retail Operations and New Business in a press release on Thursday, Jan. 24. "That local differentiation, on top of the service, convenience and quality our customers have come to expect, is what has Ace Hardware poised to stand the test of time. The teams at Madison Ace Hardware exemplify what makes Ace great – helpful, unique and always striving to meet the changing needs of the community."

Ace Hardware is the world's largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative, laying host to more than 5,200 locally-owned and operated hardware stores in more than 65 countries. Since 1924, Ace Hardware has become a part of local communities around the world and, like the Madison Ace Hardware, stores around the world are known as the place with helpful hardware folks.

Madison Ace Hardware is located at 783 W Base St., in the Winn-Dixie Shopping Center, in Madison. Madison Ace Hardware is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store is closed every Sunday. For more information, log onto acehardware.com or call  your local Ace Hardware at (850) 253-2436.

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