Seven Lakes Ace Hardware is owned by Randy and Jill Saunders, Kathy Hooper, and Randy West. Randy Saunders and Kathy (Saunders) Hooper have deep roots in Moore County. Their father’s family has lived in the area since the 1800’s, and their grandfather frequented the Seven Lakes Hardware store, bringing them in to shop on occasion when they were kids.
After working together in a family business selling wholesale lawn and garden products and pottery all over the United States, Randy, Jill and Kathy realized they wanted to do retail. Their partner, Randy West owns a very successful Ace Hardware in Savannah, GA and was interested in expanding into this area. The doors of Southern Pines Ace Hardware opened in June of 2016.
The store includes more than just hardware. Their Southern Pines location carries the most extensive line of grills in the area plus a great selection of gifts and a beautiful garden center. They also carry kitchen gadgets, toys, pool supplies, clothing brands like Simply Southern, and Magnolia Home Paint by Joanna Gaines from the TV series “Fixer Upper’l
The Seven Lakes Ace Hardware will offer a similar selection of hardware and more, with space enough to carry lumber.
“There’s something for everyone,” Kathy said. “We definitely want to make it work for the community.”
Once they open, Ace Hardware is able to cater to the needs of the community, bringing in new lines of products as needed.
They plan to host special events throughout the year such as free grilling events with food, local beer tasting, and live music. “We like to think of our special events as block parties, where people come to enjoy a fun afternoon with family and neighbors.”
They are pleased to be opening in the traditional Seven Lakes Hardware building. “Everyone is used to [it] being the local hardware store,” she said. “We want to pay tribute to the store and all the years the Garner family served the community. We would love to pick up where they left off.”
Although it will be the same building, it will have a whole new look. Walls have been knocked out to allow for more retail square footage.
Due to the upcoming expansion of NC HWY 211, the main entrance to Ace will eventually be in the rear. There, clients will have more available parking than at the current front parking lot.
“We’ll probably lose the front parking lot when the road expands. That’s the only real impact we expect,” she said. “We’re excited about it. We look at that as an opportunity.”
Other appealing attributes of Ace Hardware are the “friendly faces and knowledgeable people.”
“There are knowledgeable sales people on the floor,” she said. “Ask about any project you’re working on.”
The Southern Pines location currently has the highest customer satisfaction of any Ace store in the region.
“The cashier remembers the kids, the dog… It’s a family atmosphere,” Kathy said. “It’s not our store; it’s the community’s store.”
Ace Hardware is currently accepting applications for several positions. To apply, contact Kathy Hooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’re happy to be a first job for young people, and love to hire retirees as well,” Kathy said. “Our employees span a wide range of ages with the older associates mentoring the younger associates.”
The store will be open seven days per week – open from 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM on weekdays, 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM on Saturday, and 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM on Sunday.