Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories about the 2018 Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce award winners.
If there's one thing you can expect when you walk into the Red Wing Ace Hardware store, it's that Lisa and Troy Daniels will be there to greet you.
And of course, don't forget to say hello to Lexi, the 7-year-old Labrador that won't say no to some popcorn in the back of the store.
The Red Wing Ace Hardware has been in Lisa's family for 33 years. The Daniels have owned the building for the last 11 years.
The store was awarded the Retail Business of the Year award at the Red Wing Chamber Annual Meeting on Jan. 28. Ace Hardware has won this award four times now.
Lisa and Troy have worked at the store most of their lives, going back to the downtown store and then the newer location on 1264 Old West Main St.
Winning the award is special, with Troy saying it gives the entire store some "validation" for all the work the staff put in.
"It's that little push to keep you going," Troy said. "Work a little bit harder to keep that edge."
Lisa agreed, saying either herself or Troy are in the store seven days a week.
"It always makes you feel humbled," Lisa said. "You know, there are good days owning a business and bad days owning a business, and getting an award always makes those bad days a little better or gives you a reason why you're doing it."
Lisa remembers years ago speaking with her parents, who owned the hardware store and swore that big box office stores wouldn't want to move into the Red Wing territory. Of course, those stores did move in, but what Lisa says sets Ace apart is customer service.
"There was no way that little store downtown was going to stay open. ... We've persevered," Lisa said. "We've stayed here on customer service. I can't preach it enough."
The couple said it's difficult to compete against the big box office stores and the internet, but said they can offer a more personal touch.
"It's not always about making the sale or the money," Lisa said. "It's integrity and making that person happy that they got what they needed, however much it was, and then they'll come back."
Have a question about a snow blower? Want to know what kind of fertilizer you should use on your lawn? How about getting ready for a summer barbecue and want to get a new grill. Lisa, Troy, and the staff have you covered.
Ace Hardware is open 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and 9 a.m. ro 4 p.m. Sundays.