Changes ahead for Roerig Hardware and Appliance
Shane Roberts was selling his excavating business and was asked by his partner, Teresa Newville, “What are you going to do now.”
“I think I will go work in a hardware store,” Roberts replied.
Well, not only did he go work in a hardware store, he actually purchased one.
Roberts officially became the new owner of Roerig Hardware and Appliance on Nov. 12.
The Main Street Winnebago business, which first opened in 1929, has had three previous owners. Roberts purchased the business from Steve Malchow, who had worked at the store for 25 years and owned it for 12 years.
While Roberts is the owner of the store, Newville is the manager. They are both excited to be part of the Winnebago business landscape.
“I love the community, the people are so friendly and nice,” Newville says. “I love to get up in the morning and get to work.”
The drive to work starts east of Truman, where Roberts is a grain and livestock farmer.
“It is fun to come to work because the people have been very welcoming and very accommodating,” Roberts says. “And as we get to know members of the community and interact with them, they share with us things they would like to see at the store.”
And make no mistake, there are changes coming to the business.
“Our store will literally be changing every day for awhile,” Newville comments.
One of the changes occurring inside the business will be to move the appliance display to the front of the store.
“We are working with another local business, Backwoods Designs, to get kitchen cabinets built to display our appliances,” Newville shares.
Roberts and Newville are expanding their appliance line and will now be selling Maytag, Frigidaire and Whirlpool dishwashers, washers, dryers, refrigerators, ovens and microwaves.
There will be other changes inside the store with plans to expand their inventory of plumbing supplies, add some home decor items and rearrange other parts of the store, according to Roberts.
“We also offer screen repair, paint, flooring and key-making, in addition to the items a hardware store normally carries,” Roberts remarks. “And we are going to begin stocking Milwaukee power tools.”
Roerig Hardware and Appliance has been and will continue to be affiliated with Hardware Hank, which is part of United Hardware Distributing Company based in Plymouth.
In addition to Shane and Teresa, the store has one other full-time and two part-time employees.
Even more changes will be coming to the business next year.
“We are going to add a garden center in the spring of 2020,” Newville explains. “We will also begin offering U-Haul trucks and trailers for rent next spring.”
Owning and operating a small business is not completely foreign to Roberts and Newville.
“I had my excavation business and I have an uncle and aunt who have been franchise owners of restaurant and insurance businesses,” Roberts says.
Newville is also able to draw off of experienced family members for advice.
“My sister owns Tami’s on the Ave. in Fairmont,” Newville comments. “She has also owned a grocery store.”
This is the first venture into hardware ownership but so far the transition has been smooth.
“Steve (Malchow) has been very helpful and I was able to start working at the store in June, which helped me become more familiar with the operation,” Newville says.
Live Blue Spruce and Balsam Fir Christmas trees were another new item offered by the store this winter, but it is the garden center which really has Newville excited.
“I think the garden center will be huge,” Newville remarks. “We plan on offering different classes at the center, including how to make hanging baskets.”
Roberts also hopes to add business to business sales as a way to help other companies purchase their necessities at a lower cost.
Roberts and Newville are planning on having a grand opening in the spring after they are done getting the store redesigned.
“I look forward to meeting even more people,” Newville says. “We want to help customers make their projects exciting and enjoyable and take away their stress.”
Serving the people who do business with Roerig Hardware and Appliance is very important to the new business owners.
“If we do not know the answer, we will find the answer,” Roberts states. “It is very important for us to take care of our customers.”