Residents of North Hill in Minot won't have to drive across town for their hardware needs in the near future.
True Value, a hardware store chain, is part of the new Marketplace Foods complex, and joins the grocery and liquor stores, as well as a fitness center. Les Pierson, assistant manager at the original Marketplace foods location, has been tapped as manager of the new hardware store. Johanneson's Inc., which owns Marketplace Foods, also owns the True Value store.
While the late spring has set back construction, Pierson said they hope to have the complex open by the end of June.
"The biggest problem has been our parking lot. We have to get the frost out of the ground so we can (pave)," Pierson said. "Otherwise you'll just have the parking lot heave and waste thousands of dollars."
True Value will be a 9,000-square-foot building within the complex, but will have its own separate entrance, right next to the liquor store entrance, which itself is next to the main grocery store entrance. On the other side of True Value in the complex will be a fitness center.
Pierson said the True Value store is on the small side, but that won't stop them from carrying everything a customer would expect in a typical hardware store.
"You name it - nuts, bolts, paint," Pierson said. "Pretty much anything you can think of, it'll be in there."
One of the key features True Value will boast is Just Ask Rental, which will rent equipment to homeowners and small contractors. Pierson said there will be equipment for things such as concrete work and yard work, but no large pieces of equipment.
The Husqvarna line of lawn and garden equipment will also be in the store, which Pierson said is popular with customers.
He said the paint department, which mixes True Value's own blends, will be a big draw, as their paint is considered some of the best in the industry.
"There will be glass cutting, we'll have screen repairs, stuff like that," Pierson said. "(People can) buy chain and rope in bulk."
Pierson said they decided to put a True Value in the new complex because of the glaring need for a hardware store on North Hill. With all the new housing and other construction happening on the north end of town, Pierson said the Ace Hardware at Arrowhead Shopping Center next to Oak Park was too far a drive to be convenient.
"There's nothing on that side of town, really. Other than Ace, all the hardware stores are basically on the south side of town," Pierson said. "There's just nothing for the people on North Hill."
There will be eight to 10 employees at True Value to begin with, and Pierson said they are still hiring.
"We're just going on what they project us to do, and hopefully we do more so we can add more people," Pierson said. "It's just a new venture for everybody, so nobody really knows how it could go."
Pierson has worked at Marketplace Foods since 1986. It was purchased by Johanneson's Inc. in 1990. He said he has done his current job for so long that he jumped at the chance to change things up by running his own hardware store.
"It's definitely different," Pierson said. "I fell like it kind of invigorates you because you've been doing the same stuff for 20 or 25 years."
"It's something you can take a hold of yourself, run with it and build," he added.
While he is looking forward to moving over to True Value, for the present he has to do both his job as True Value manager and his job as Marketplace Foods assistant manager. Needless to say, the two jobs have kept him busy.
"There's a lot done, but it's amazing how much there still is to do," Pierson said, noting he has the building and floor for True Value marked off his to-do list, and that's about it. Shelves still need to go up and be stocked. They will also need to remember to put the front door on before opening day, as well.
Along with the excitement of a new job and opportunity to advance his career, Pierson said he was also honored that Johanneson's Inc. had the confidence in him to ask him to manage True Value in the first place.
He thinks North Hill customers will be as excited as he is to have new grocery and hardware stores within easy reach, as well.
"It's definitely exciting," Pierson said. "It will be exciting for the North Hill region with all the new housing and all that."