Where the owner knows your name
Big John’s Hardware in Glenwood prides itself on knowing its customers and what they need
For the Post Independent
Editor’s Note: Sponsored content brought to you by Big John’s Ace Hardware
The original Big John’s Building & Home, Inc. was founded in Glenwood Springs in 1988 and operated until 2010 before losing its lease and closing. In 2013, while searching for a location to open a sporting goods store, Big John fell upon a lease at 2602 South Glen Ave. and opened Big John’s Ace Hardware in 2014.
Big John might have gotten his nickname because of his 6’7’’ stature, but it’s his large personality and willingness to help people that seems to really stick when customers meet him.
“He’s never met a stranger — he’s just that kind of guy,” said Jan Harr, who works for John Lindsey in the administrative office at Big John’s Ace Hardware in Glenwood Springs. “He loves to talk to people and loves to share knowledge — people just really love him.”
When Big John had to close his previous location, Big John’s Building & Home, due to losing his lease in 2010, John’s big, friendly personality and top-notch customer service remained in the memories of those who knew him. Big John and his family had moved to Arizona, but his absence was felt in Glenwood.
“Once a friend, always a friend — John is one of those guys,” said Trey Holt, who has been friends with John for 30 years. “He takes a lot of pride in being a friend — not just an acquaintance, but really being there for you.”
Just as John had been thinking of moving back to Glenwood to open a sporting goods store, he heard that a space in the old Subaru building was available and that his name came up in the conversation about ideal tenants. His return to Glenwood was meant to be.
Big John’s Ace Hardware had only been open for six weeks in 2014 when it picked up the Glenwood Springs Post Independent’s Locals’ Choice award for best hardware/home improvement store. It’s now won the award for six straight years.
“That’s a real source of pride for me,” Big John said. “People said, ‘man, did we ever miss you.’”
Holt can’t count the number of times he’s been at breakfast or lunch with John when people come up to the table to ask him about a project that has them stumped.
“They’ll come up to ask how they can fix something and he always helps them figure it out,” Holt said. “He doesn’t leave work when he leaves the store.”
In the business of serving
Big John believes we’re all in the business of serving others, and he has a philosophy about how to succeed.
“Everything is cause and effect,” he said. “Good service equals good results. Medium service equals medium results. Bad service equals bad results.”
Harr said Big John’s knowledge about the products in the store is obvious when customers talk to him. He’s great at troubleshooting and often helps people figure out the best way to reach their desired outcome.
By treating people the way he’d want to be treated, customer service at Big John’s isn’t just friendly, it’s genuine.
“I know I’m going to give customers the right solution to whatever problem they’re working on,” Big John said. “I’ll get goosebumps when I know what I told them is going to work — I get a lot of satisfaction from that.”
Friendly, knowledgeable staff
Holt said you can bring a part in to Big John’s Hardware and they’ll help you find it in the store, or they’ll order it for you to ensure you buy the right item.
“John’s focused and driven, and he’s all about making his business work in a tough economy against big-box stores,” Holt said. “The personal care is there, and you can even see it in his employees’ character.”
The Google Reviews say it all:
- “Very helpful and friendly, Big John’s has that home town friendly feel and is the reason I enjoy shopping at Ace Hardware.”
- “This kind of dedication to customer service can only be found in a small town local hardware store.”
- “Caring and courteous. If you want to experience great customer service this is where I would shop!!!! Bar none!”
Big John is particularly astute in terms of his store’s inventory, Harr said. If you need anything from a bag of screws to paint to outdoor grills, Big John’s likely has what you need for home improvement projects and more.
“We’re currently better stocked than the warehouse that supplies us,” Harr quipped.
That’s thanks to Big John’s inventory experience. He’s been doing it since he was 8 years old at his father’s lumberyard in Cedaredge.
“I’ve been doing this my whole life,” Big John said.
Big John’s offers products and services that aren’t readily available anywhere else in the valley. Customers can come in for computerized paint-matching or get electronic chip keys made, or they can get door, window or patio screens built or repaired. Big John’s also offers mower and grill assembly, grill repair, special orders, shipping and delivery service.
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