BARTONVILLE, Ill. (WMBD)– Seventy years after Bartonville Hardware opened its doors, the third generation of family members is continuing to run the business.
In 1951, Greg McCoy’s father, Earl, and his mother, Isabelle, opened their first store on Adams St. in Bartonville along with a partner and co-worker of Earl’s.
“I remember my mother telling me about spreading the merchandise out so it looked like they had more than they really did,” said Greg McCoy, owner of Bartonville Hardware.
In its early days, the store sold mostly manual tools and equipment like nails, hammers, and handsaws.
“We sold mowers when they first came out; gas mowers, they were new back in the 50’s,” he said.
McCoy started working at his parent’s store as an employee in the 60’s and took over after his father became ill. With the help of his two sons and daughter-in-law, he’s been running the business ever since.
However, it wasn’t always clear to his son Tim that it would work out this way.
“I never wanted to be in this business. I always wanted to do something else. In high school, I couldn’t see myself in the hardware business, [but] it just turned out I started working and just stuck with it,” Tim McCoy, now a co-owner of the store said. “It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
Greg said it takes a lot of hard work for a family-owned and operated store to last this long.
“Well, you got to be tougher on yourself than anyone could be on you. You got to push yourself to do a better job, to complete the job. That’s probably the toughest thing about it,” he said.
Looking to continue their success, his daughter-in-law, Andrea, said she hopes they can keep the store’s personal touch going until the next big anniversary.
“Really our main commitment is personal customer service, and as long as we know our customers by name in 20 years, then I’d be happy with that,” she said.
Bartonville Hardware is located at 1201 W. Garfield Avenue and can also be found on Facebook.