Upon entering the hardware store on SE 11th and Stark, I thought, "This place isn't going to have what I need!" I've built homes, remodeled, even added a studio apartment in the basement of a house once, so I'm no stranger to visiting the big box store 3 times a day for months. Ankeny Hardware surprised me though. The showroom is about 1,200 square feet, less than the size of one isle at a box store, but behind the desk the workers have access to 1.3 miles of shelves and 35,000 different items.
They had what I thought I needed and, even after I begged them to just give me what I asked for, they calmed me down and made sure I got the right item, which ended up being something totally different from what I originally wanted, and a much simpler solution. That's not the kind of customer service I'm used to, where you're told what aisle it might be in by some kid who just graduated high school. I guess being open for 110 years helps you accrue some knowledge. The owner, Norman Chusid, has been working at that store since 1962 and is the 3rd generation to own the store. He says, "We sell things that we would be proud to use. The other guys can sell the junk."
I hope Ankeny Hardware stays open for a very long time, because if I have to listen to another Bett Middler song while I pick out deck screws I'm going to kill myself, so please give them a shot.
1134 Southeast Stark Street
Portland, OR 97214-1337
Click here for more information on Portland real estate!
Loren Castillo is a recruiter and career coach with eXp Realty in Portland, Oregon.