Haights celebrate 15 years of ACE excellence
If someone would have approached Tim Haight 30 years ago and told him he would not only one-day own and operate his own hardware store with wife D’Lacey, but enjoy a tenure of 15 years of customer service excellence…he most likely would have called their bluff.
But that was exactly the case this past August, as the couple celebrated it’s 15th year of providing hardware expertise to the Merrill community.
The hardware industry wasn’t Tim’s first career destination. In fact, he made the career switch from the airline industry in 1995.
“I began working for ACE in Tomahawk and came to really enjoy working not only in the hardware industry but for ACE as a company. What I loved most of all about the job was the customers. Its always been a great feeling to help people with their needs and to have them come back.”
In August of 2004, when Tim learned of the Merrill ACE store being up for sale, he and D’Lacey decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship and purchased the store with the help of a few private investors.
“I had ideas how to run a store and I saw potential in the Merrill location, the timing was right so I decided to go for it.”
Tim’s number-one priority became instilling his customer service philosophy in every aspect of his new business, as well as a focus on expanding and diversifying store inventory.
Now 15 years later, the Haights have enjoyed considerable success as the community’s one-stop shop for hardware needs.
“We are so thankful for the leadership of the ACE corporation, they have been amazing from the start. Even though we had never owned a store before, start-up was much easier than we expected thanks to them. We wouldn’t have made it as far as we have without their guidance and of course our many dedicated employees and customers over the years. The generous community support we have received has been wonderful and we credit our employees for that. To attract and retain loyal customers requires loyal, dedicated employees. We still have employees who have been with us since the first day we opened.”
Haight cracks a smile when asked of the generational aspect of having been an employer for nearly two decades.
“Its surreal to be honest,” he said.
“To now have children and even grandchildren come into the store, of customers we have had since we first opened, is wonderful. We’ve also hired students through high school programs, whose parents were also hired through the same programs.”
While success hasn’t come without its share of challenges for the Haights, they attribute it all to their core values of quality customer service, quality products at a convenient location.
“I had a feeling we would be successful, I still remember the potential I saw in this location the first time I visited. When we first opened 15 years ago I never would have guessed we would have done as well as we have. It’s been a pretty amazing experience.”
It’s that amazing experience and consistent community support which drives Tim and D’Lacey to give back to the Merrill community.
“We exist to help people with everyday hardware needs and home preservation problems, but we also enjoy helping organizations in the area who also help others, such as Children’s Miracle Network, the American Cancer Society and the local food pantry,” Tim explains.
“We also enjoy supporting organizations who strive to make our community a better place such as the Haunted Sawmill, Park City Gardens, the River Bend Trail and Gazebo Nights. We’re honored to serve the Merrill community and we are very grateful for our ACE family and employees who give quality service every day.”
Merrill ACE Hardware can be reached at (715) 536-5822 and holds regular business hours of 7 a.m.- 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m.-3 p.m.