Craig has been involved with retail Hardware since he was 16 years old. Not to give away his age, but to some people that means he’s been doing it for 2 lifetimes. He started out cleaning and stocking shelves in the hardware store that his dad managed in Montana. After High School Craig attended college at the U of M (Montana). The first time Craig took part in ownership was in 1983, when he and his wife, Kay, bought into a hardware store. After a few years they thought they had a pretty good hand on what needed to be done and sought full ownership. After talking to their corporate office they decided to move to East Grand Forks to open up a store. Craig is very comfortable in every department and has used a lot of our products personally. Craig’s favorite part of working here is helping some one figure out a solution to their problem.
The Boss of Bosses
Kay is Co-Owner of this store. Craig and Kay got married in 1973 and have been working together since 1983, when they first bought into a hardware store. At the first store Kay got to spend a lot of time as a stay at home mom. She did put in her fair share of hours at the store though. Once they moved to East Grand Forks to open up their own store, since the boys were older, she started to really work. She wasn’t just the owner’s wife; she was an owner and treated the business accordingly. Kay is in charge of the books. If there is an issue with an invoice she is the one you get to talk to. Kay is our customer service department as well, at least on the phone. She takes most of the incoming phone calls and will get you in contact with the correct person to answer your questions. Kay’s favorite part of working here is the Greenhouse. The Greenhouse is her passion. Kay earned her Master Gardeners title in the 90s and really knows her stuff. Kay will put in a 12 hour day in the greenhouse, and then to relax, at night, she’ll go home and garden.
Brandon grew up in the hardware/retail world. From when Brandon was just a couple of years old his dad, Craig, bought into a hardware store in Montana. When Brandon was in 4th grade the family moved to East Grand Forks to run their own hardware store. Only helping here and there, Brandon never held a job at the store until his summer breaks in college. A few years ago Brandon was cooking in restaurants. Although he loved his job, he wasn’t too excited about the hours. There came a point where his dad needed some one to work in the License Center that he could count on. This was a good fit for Brandon since it was an 8-5 job. Not soon after starting in the License Center Brandon started putting in extra hours in the store to cover vacations and when other staff was sick. After three years there was more demand for Brandon to be in the hardware store than the License Center. Brandon is pretty comfortable in every department of the store but there are some areas that he prefers to take on over others. His biggest joy in the world of hardware is not only helping some one to get their project finished, but when he can teach his staff to do the same thing.
Jenny Zastoupil comes to us with an innate working knowledge of paint and hardware, having 2 DIY-ers for parents. After working for Hardware Hank for several seasons in the greenhouse, she first took a turn inside during our complete store reset in 2006. Jenny holds degrees in both Architectural Drafting and Fine Arts including Color Theory, and finds both come in handy when working with everyone from contractors to crafters. She is an inveterate renovator having owned and remodeled no less than 6 houses. So there’s not a product in the paint department that she doesn’t have hands-on experience with, and she’s equally comfortable helping our customers in other departments as well. Jenny is delighted to hear back from customers who are happy when their projects and color choices meet or exceed their expectations.
Kevin has been with us for many years, as our outside sales man. Kevin and his wife, Lisa raised their family in East Grand Forks. If you are a business that needs to have something specially ordered or routinely delivered, Kevin is the guy to talk to. He deals with many of the industrial and commercial business accounts that we have. If you want to have so many light bulbs on hand, he will take charge to make sure that you never run out. We have a supplier for just about anything you need. Kevin can keep you in full supply of anything from light bulbs and paper towels to 55 gallon drums of parts cleaner and hydraulic pumps. We have a delivery truck with a Tommy lift, so if you need a full pallet of something like ice melt or bleach, we can get it to you. Kevin is a very organized person and takes pride in his service to his customers. If you order something with Kevin, he doesn’t just make sure you get it, he makes sure you get it as soon as possible, and at the best price possible.
Wendy grew up in Grand Forks ND, graduating from Central High School. Wendy spent many years in the Bar/Food Service industry. Before working in our store, she was the bar manager at the reputable Whiteys Wonder Bar and Restaurant. Wendy is a huge fan of gardening and in 2000 was looking for a change of pace job wise and thought our store would be perfect since we have a greenhouse open every summer. Wendy is in charge of checking in the freight every week. As a part of that she is very thorough in the paper work, making sure we got billed correctly and that everything that was supposed to come, did in fact make it here. During the summer she also takes a few shifts a week in the green house. Wendy has 2 cats and loves them with all of her heart. She is so fond of cats that she is also in charge of our pet department. Wendy’s favorite part of working in our store is that she gets to know everyone in town. She has a knack for customer service and goes the extra mile for every customer. She also enjoys that she gets to spend time in the greenhouse.
Ryan grew up in Minneapolis. He worked at a high end car dealership in Wayzata for 6 years where he acquired a good bit of knowledge of tools, cars,and engines. He recently moved to East Grand Forks to make a new start. He is very friendly, and always willing to help. He started as the day time cashier, and now is doing deliverys in the mornings and cashier in the afternoon.
Jake came to town to attend Business Management courses at the University of North Dakota, which is just across the river from us. Jake’s cousin, Kyle, had been working for us for a few months and said Jake was looking for a job. In Jake’s home town of Moorhead MN, he had worked at a hardware store for 3 years while in high school, so the decision to bring him on board was an easy one. Jake is one of our part time guy’s who is pretty comfortable in every department of the store. He has an easy going spirit and a can do attitude. He has stepped in to a roll of a leader by teaching the new staff what he knows. Jake is a sharp guy and his priority is his school work. Jake loves helping out in the store, but he really appreciates that the store can work around his school schedule.
Sue grew up on a farm in central Minnesota until the age of 12, when her family moved to Moorhead MN. After High School she worked as a Nurses Aid and went to school to be a LPN. After her son was born in 1983 she traded in her Nursing license for an opportunity to be a full time mother. She still found some time to do odd jobs though. She helped do costumers for the Fire Hall theater for 12 years and also helped to teach a ceramics class for 7 years. After the big flood of 1997 Sue got a call from Kay, saying, “We are swamped at the store, do you think you could give us a hand? Any help will do and the only qualification is that you can tell the difference between a Phillips and Standard Screwdrivers.” Sue thought she would help out for a few months…she’s still here. Sue is a great help in the store. She gets along well with customers and can help in any department. If she doesn’t know the answer to something she doesn’t rest until she knows. Sue can’t start a project and not finish it. She’ll often stay after her shift is over or come in on days off to get a project finished. Sue’s favorite part about working in the store is that she feels that she has really become a part of the community. As a stay at home mom, she didn’t have the chance to get out and meet a lot of people. Working here she has gotten to know people she wouldn’t have had the chance to, otherwise. She often teases her husband, Doc, that she knows every man in town.