DALLAS — As Dave Hartman got his pool ready for a hot weekend, he made sure to get his supplies from Dallas Centre Hardware.
The family-owned hardware store on Main Street maintains the charm of a country store with old-fashioned hospitality and modern conveniences.
Dallas Centre Hardware has served the Back Mountain communities since 1981, and still holds a strong customer base despite growing competition from large national chain stores.
What keeps customers returning?
“They (Dallas Centre Hardware staff) treat everyone like they know you,” said Hartman, of Dallas. “When someone walks in they offer to help. They are friendly.”
“The store is close by,” said customer Andrea Pituch, of Dallas. “It is handy.”
Gerard and Michele Geise, the second generation owners of the hardware store, want to create an atmosphere where all customers feel welcome and leave happy.
“Most people want to keep the sense of old-fashioned Americana, and a hardware store fits the bill,” Michele said. “We can offer everything the big stores can. I have over 68,000 items in a warehouse right now that I can have delivered in a week.”
Michele father, Jim Eason, first opened the store 35 years ago.
“Opening a hardware store was a longtime dream of his (Eason),” Michele said.
Michele was 14 years old when her dad first opened the doors of the store.
“I remember it was a lot of hard work to prepare for the opening,” she said.
The building was formerly the home of the Dallas Post, but even before that it was a hardware store and grainery, she said.
Eason handed over the ownership of his American dream in October 2008 to his daughter and son-in-law.
Today, the couple’s sons, Garrett, 20, and Elijah, 17, work at the store along with two other full-time employees and four part-time employees. The couple’s third son, Judah, 14, helps out from time-to-time, Michele said.
To celebrate the business’ anniversary, the family is planning a redesign of the store’s exterior and interior for later this year.
Michele said plans are to retain the original wood floors and bring the store’s interior back to its original format while the exterior will be renovated with a more modern flare.
“I hope to expose the original hardwood ceilings and replace the florescent lighting with old-fashioned looking light fixtures with LED lights.”
The family is thinking of holding a re-grand opening next spring with a small fair in the parking lot, she said.