Lakewood Hardware and Paint has been part of Lakewood for more than 65 years, ever since Russell Fry opened the first store on Gravelly Lake Drive. The building the community frequents today is actually the store’s third incarnation.
The father of the current owner, Donn Tyler, bought Lakewood Hardware and Paint from Fry in the 1950s and later moved to a building more than twice its size on 105th Street and Bridgeport Way. In 1983, five years after purchasing his father’s share of the company, Tyler moved to its existing 12,000-square-foot spot on Lakewood Drive.
Over the years, Lakewood Hardware and Paint has continued to expand and grow. The original store sold hardware, paint and a few plumbing tools. These days, Lakewood Hardware and Paint’s selection includes home appliances, STIHL power tools, home and garden, plumbing, electricity and lumber. It even sells doors. And if customers can’t find what they need, the store will order whatever they request—and keep a stock of it in the future.
Tyler says the relationship between customers and employees is the secret to the store’s success. The interview process for a new employee, for example, is intensive. The store incorporates the whole team to make sure every potential hire fits. Tyler looks for experience and knowledge. In addition to knowing the products inside and out, employees have to be able to talk with customers, answer their questions, find out what they need and help them solve problems.
“For all we’ve added and done, it’s no good without people to support it,” said Tyler, who proudly referred to his current team as “the best staff we’ve had to date.”
Helping the customers is Tyler’s favorite part of the job, something that has turned many customers into longtime friends. That’s one of the reasons he loves doing business in Lakewood.
“You come to work, you like seeing the customers, you like seeing the other employees,” he said. That spirit of friendship and community is why Lakewood Hardware and Paint has succeeded for decades no matter the competition. Tyler grew up, attended school and has worked in Lakewood almost his entire life.
The store gives back to the community through countless partners and donations. Lakewood Hardware and Paint supports local churches, the Chamber of Commerce, veterans organizations, the Lakewood Area Shelter Associates, the Kiwanis Club and the Boy Scouts.
The future of the store is stable. In the coming years, Skip Tyler, Donn’s son, will slowly take over from his father. They know what they do and how to do it well. “We do the best job we can without worrying about what other people are doing,” Donn Tyler said.
Lakewood Hardware and Paint is located on 9020 Lakewood Drive SW. You can learn more about them on their Facebook/Lakewood Hardware, or shop online through their website at http://lakewood.doitbest.com/home.aspx
. You can also call at (253) 581-1010.
Check out photos of the Business Showcase here: http://goo.gl/anH7GS