Ace Hardware at 55 Barrington Town Square in Aurora opened in February under the ownership of Jason and Shana Wallenstein of Beachwood.
Now five months into the business, Shana Wallenstein told the Cleveland Jewish News that the community has been “so kind, thoughtful and generous.” The location, which has 12 employees, held a grand opening celebration from April 29 to May 1.
“People come in and thank us for opening, and we’re thanking them for shopping,” Shana Wallenstein said. “It’s been lovely. Everyone from the city to the other stores in town, and of course the residents, have all been amazing. Aurora is a super active community. We really see ourselves growing and staying in the community for a long time.”
The couple also owns a custom art and framing studio in Bedford that her husband has had for almost 20 years, but this is their first hardware store and joint venture, Shana Wallenstein said. Her husband was a manager at Lowe’s for 10 years and has a retail background of almost 30 years, and they connected with representatives at Ace Hardware about opening their own location.
“We said, absolutely, yes,” she recalled. “We thought there was so much potential in the Aurora community. There was an Ace Hardware here in the community a few years ago, but it closed. So, we knew the name recognition would be high. Traffic has picked up so significantly since the grand opening. We’ve been so busy.”
They held their grand opening celebration a few months after opening due to the weather, as well as to give the staff a few weeks to learn the setup of the store, Shana Wallenstein added.
With a professional background in communications and marketing, she said she personally didn’t know a lot about hardware and home improvement before opening the store.
“I’ve been really surprised about my own ability to learn the product and get up to speed on things,” she said. “Ace has been known for carrying these amazing brands and that really helps. When you come into Ace, we’re so customer-service-oriented that people greet you and show you where to go. And if they don’t know, they radio someone who does. We’re just trying to live up to the customer service expectations that our customers have and deserve.”
First thinking it would be another professional venture for her husband, Jason, Shana Wallenstein said that she and their son, Jack, 8, enjoy spending their free time at the store.
“We love being there and learning more,” she said. “Jack cuts keys for people too. One of the ways Ace sets itself aside is that we are more than hardware. We carry cards, candles and coffee, too. We may not ever be the one-stop shop, but we want the customer experience to be positive and keep them coming. It’s more than nuts, bolts and screws – even though I know the difference now.”
Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.