By Chelsie Firestone – THE VILLAGE REPORTER
As the doors of Short’s Hardware closed this past summer, the owner of Stryker Welding, Jason Baltosser, was well aware of the loss of the business that had served as a convenient place for local businesses and do-it-yourselfers to purchase their hardware needs. After all, Baltosser had frequented the hardware store often whenever he was in need of an item. The loss of Short’s Hardware, if not replaced, would ultimately lead to the need for Baltosser to travel or send employees much further to buy their hardware need and to do so would cost Stryker Welding both time and money.
With this in mind, Baltosser approached the business community, asking if there was any intent from anyone else in the community to purchase the Short’s Hardware storefront and re-open the hardware store. With little interest being shown from other business owners, Baltosser began to move to make sure that he, Stryker Welding, and other local residents didn’t lose the convenience of having a hardware store in town. His endeavors recently led to a notice included in the billing statements his Stryker Welding customers received.
In the notice Baltosser explained that “As many of you may be aware, I purchased a small, but I think important, portion of the assets of the former Short’s Hardware. This included the extensive fastener inventory and the hydraulic hose crimper and fittings. I have recently placed this inventory and a growing amount into a bona-fide hardware store at 201 N. Defiance Street here in Stryker named SW Hardare. If you are a current Stryker Welding customer, I want you to know that you can expect the same prompt, courteous service at our new hardware that you have grown accustomed to here at Stryker Welding.” The statement also included a partial list of the items available for purchase at SW Hardware which include not only the items customers might expect to find at a small hardware store but also hydraulic hose assemblies, fittings, and adapters.
Located directly in front of Stryker Welding, a choice Baltosser made to make managing both the welding shop and the hardware store a bit easier, SW Hardware operates as part of Stryker Welding. While Baltosser has hired experienced and hardworking help to aid him in the start up and running of the hardware store, SW Hardware and Stryker Welding are, in fact, the same entity. This means that customers can expect the same commitment to quality and service from SW Hardware that Stryker Welding has been giving their customers for over 100 years.
Because Short’s Hardware has been out of business since this past summer and because Baltosser is aware that buying habits change, he is aware that the start up time for SW Hardware may be slow. However, he is hopeful that area customers will keep in mind the importance of shopping local as well as the value of their time. SW Hardware offers prices that are competitive with other, larger hardware stores – especially once customers factor in the cost of their time and gas money spent driving outside of town.
Baltosser credits his wife, kids, and good help with the success he has had since taking the helm of Stryker Welding as well as for aiding him in the learning curve and transition in starting up SW Hardware. He looks forward to continuing to serve the community and hopes that the addition of SW Hardware to Stryker will be of benefit for both the residents of Stryker and other neighboring towns.
Chelsie Firestone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org