By Libby Rosequist
Stetson Brothers, a family owned and operated Ace Hardware store, is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a customer appreciation day to be held on Saturday, June 5.
The event will be complete with barbecue demonstrations by Traeger and Big Green Egg, giveaways, special in-store sale pricing and drawings for free T-shirts.
Customers can also register to win a variety of great prizes including a Craftsman tool chest, Weber Spirit E-210 grill, Milwaukee hammer drill and impact driver kit, Ego power plus battery string trimmer and an Ego edger/string trimmer combo.
Along with celebrating 75 years of being family owned and operated, the Stetson family is happy to announce Kyle Stetson has returned to North East to be the general manager.
“I started in September and couldn’t be happier to back,” Kyle said. “I was away for about 10 years and it feels great to be close to family and working with them again. It is such a rewarding experience helping our customers in any way we can.”
Kyle has made great strides in updating the store by implementing more technology to streamline ordering and make a customer’s overall visit more time efficient.
“I have found, usually, when a customer comes in they have a problem or idea, and I want to make sure their experience with us leaves them with a solution,” Kyle said. “By updating our technology, we can make sure the customers are getting the exact products they need and as soon as possible.”
It all began in 1946 with Herb and Harold Stetson opening a plumbing and electric business in North East. Over the years, business grew and moved to its current location at 1030 W. Main Road, where they added heating and appliances.
After a fire destroyed the local hardware store, Herb and Harold saw the community was in need, and transitioned into a True Value hardware store.
Over time, Stetson Brothers changed its affiliation to Ace Hardware to better serve the community. Services were added, including a kitchen center, toy department, self-storage units, equipment rentals, propane and lumber.
“I think it is amazing as we celebrate 75 years of business how we have adapted to the needs of the community,” Kyle said. “The business has evolved so much over time and we can thank the community for that. Without them telling us what they need and how we can help, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
A timeline of photos is hung throughout the store for customers to see the evolution of Stetson Brothers. The Facebook page also includes many of these photos and stories to go along with it.
“As we have been going through our archives of photos and stories, there is one that truly sticks out to me and I feel embodies our motto of making sure the customer is put first,” Kyle said. “When we used to sell kitchen appliances, a customer needed a used refrigerator and all that was in stock were new ones so Herbert Stetson sold his wife’s refrigerator to the customer. It may sound like a funny story but it’s true, and we try to provide that same dedication today.”
Customers and the general public are invited to stop by and enjoy the festive occasion and share a memory from 75 years of shopping at Stetson Bros.
Follow Stetson Brothers on Facebook at Stetson Brothers ACE Hardware for a chronology of its history along with updates on the anniversary celebration.