When Kevin and Sarah Shultz first visited Moscow 16 years ago, they found a place to call home and raise theirdaughter.

They had been taking road trips across the West to find the right place for them to put down roots. Moscow was near the end of their final road trip that year, a trip that spanned at least six to seven states and dozens of towns.

“We drove into Moscow and we basically fell in love with the area,” Sarah Schultz said. “And then we did a second trip back to look at some properties.”

The Shultzes bought some property and when the opportunity came up in 2020 to become part-owners of Moscow’s Spence Hardware & Supply, they took it.

Brian Spence, the founder and now co-owner, said he had become friends with the couple when they moved to the area.

“We’ve always really admired the store when we would come to visit. It was that hometown hardware store,” Sarah Shultz said.

Spence Hardware & Supply opened in December 1995 and offered an array of hardware goods. In 2016, Spence expanded to provide equipment rental and service to the community.

When the Shultzes came on board in 2020, Spence moved to the rental side and the Shultzes took over the hardware storefront.

“They (the Shultzes) have done a tremendous job with sales, constantly every year, over the previous year,” Spence said. “And it’s just taken a lot of the headaches away from me because they pretty much are running the hardware side of it.”

Sarah Shultz said before becoming co-owners at Spence, the couple had worked in healthcare. She said the switch in careers wasn’t expected but was not unwelcome. July 1 was their two-year anniversary as co-owners.

“It’s something that I enjoy and look forward to every day.” Kevin Shultz said. “My day is so variable and has such a variety. It makes it kind of exciting and interesting.”

Changes at Spence in the past two years have included the addition of the Diablo tool brand, new color-matching tools to the paint section, a garden area and the repaving of the parking lot.

The Shultzes also have brought in local vendors in the gift department and added new inventory.

Those local vendors include Meadowlark Bath and Soaps, Vandal Pepper Sauces, Spin-Em Clothing, and native seed and plant books from the University of Idaho and others. The garden section is stocked with annuals and perennials and was something Sarah Shultz was excited to add.

“To be a part of the community has always been something that’s really important to us,” she said.

The store, near the corner of Blaine Street and White Avenue in Moscow, is planning a customer appreciation day Aug. 13 to celebrate its 27th anniversary and the Shultzes two-year anniversary as co-owners. There will be sales, food and prizes.