Duane Riches saws the board to officially open the store.
Green River is celebrating the opening of a new hardware store. PD Ace Hardware officially opened its doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a lot of grand opening hardware specials on April 8-9.
Duane and Penney Riches are the store owners. Duane said the idea of a hardware store for Green River has been on his mind for a long time and he felt it was a real need in the community. When the location on Main Street became available last year, the Riches purchased the property and began the long process of remodeling the former Politano market turning it into the show place hardware store it is today.
The Riches aren't strangers to the Green River business scene. They also own and operate the Melon Vine grocery store which has seen its share of renovations and expansions over the 29 years they have owned that business as well.
The dream of the hardware store became a reality on Dec. 18, 2010 when they opened the doors for business. The Riches employ three people at this time and also staff the store with personnel from the grocery store as needed.
Duane said, "We are trying to tailor our product line to the needs of the Green River people. We want to keep the Green River people in town to shop. We have plumbing and agricultural products. We are an Intermountain Farmers distributor and we have feeds, fencing, panels, troughs and animal health care products. We carry a wide variety of paint, too."
The new Green River store is well stocked with everything you can need in hardware. The store also has a supply of lumber, garden tools, potting soils, fertilizer, patio furniture, propane patio lights, bedding plants and vegetables, electrical supplies and much more.
The store has propane and Duane says he can special order anything you might need that isn't in stock. The bedding plants will come in around April 15 so Duane encourages everyone to start planting and enjoying the warmer weather. Store hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. each Monday-Saturday and the store is closed on Sundays.
"It's difficult to be in business in Green River. We are competing with the big boys, but we feel Green River deserves a store like this. We believe in being an independent retailer. We have three employees here at the hardware store, they are Maguel Ramirez, Diego Mendoza and Carlos Mendez. They are friendly and helpful. We have 12 employees at the Melon Vine store. We love our community, we always try to support our youth and community activities. Today in conjunction with the grand opening the Green River PTA is having a BBQ lunch and bake sale. The Melon Vine donated the food for the BBQ. We have always supported our community and they in turn support us. We invite everyone to come in and check us out. We believe we have competitive prices.
"We remodeled the entire building, we had a contractor and my wife Penney and employees helped. It has taken a lot of sweat and blood and a year's time, but we are here and we opened on Dec. 15. We are still working on the lumber yard.
"We have had many positive comments about the store. The Green River people have been very receptive, they can fix what they need to without having to travel out of town for parts and supplies. We've had a very positive response from the citizens," said Duane.
Many people came to help the Riches celebrate their new store, the Ace Hardware district manager from Grand Junction and Fruita came to welcome Duane. Duane had talked to the Ace Hardware people for about 2.5 years and when the location became available they helped Duane and Penney with the development of their new store. "The Riches are a good fit in our company. Ace Hardware is a cooperative. We help with new store development, the shortest time it ever took us to put together a store was four months and the longest took one owner 8.5 years. The store owner and the company work together. All store owners own stock in the corporation," said Ross Alvord. Tyler Liff from the Fruita, Colo. store and Keith Mutz were also involved in helping the Riches achieve their goal of owning a hardware store in Green River.
Alvord said there's a lot to learn and a lot to know about hardware. Space is always a challenge in a hardware store, there are always many more products available than there is room for in a store. The big warehouse for Ace Hardware is in Colorado Springs.
Green River Mayor Pat Brady welcomed the Ace Hardware store to Green River. He thanked the Riches for believing in Green River and investing in Green River's future. The ribbon cutting took place outside in the parking lot of the store. Duane cut the board which said Ace Hardware and Penney cut the ribbon with the giant scissors. Emery County Business Chamber president Tyler Jeffs and board members Keith Brady and Patsy Stoddard also participated. Emery County Commissioner Laurie Pitchforth along with Miss Melon Days Axia Herrera took part in the festivities.
Commissioner Pitchforth said, "This store is a great addition to the community. It looks great."