There aren’t too many family hardware stores remaining in America.
There are even fewer working on its third generation of ownership. However, one does exist in the region – in fact, two. Leeper Hardware in Jefferson City, and newly-acquired Alpha Outdoor Supply, have been servicing the community for seven decades – and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
“We have great customer service. We have trained employees, and we listen to our customers,” said Lisa Leeper Williams, owner of the stores. “We’re here in the community. We live in the community, and we’re supported by the community.”
Like every family business, competition from corporate conglomerates will always be a threat – and Leeper Hardware is no different. With one corporate hardware store one mile east, and another less than two miles west, the store, which has been in its current location since 1984, has to fight to stay viable on a daily basis.
“We survive by working really hard with our buying power, as well as our prices. We’re thankful of the community and their support,” Lisa Williams said. “You don’t see many family-owned hardware stores anymore because the corporate stores are moving in, and more people are ordering (their supplies) online.”
“In terms of hardware, we’re a niche location from the (corporate store) in Jefferson City. We thank God we have sustained in the community,” said Lisa’s son, Brian Williams, who also runs the stores. “We’ve had good times and bad times, but we’ve made it.