Steve and Leona Fogle spent 25 years building up a construction company, but then decided to invest in the local hardware store in their community of Centerville, Iowa. The store had been in operation for over 40 years, but Steve and Leona renamed it Fogle True Value & Hardware and focused on bringing life back into the business. To do this, they brought in new employees and tried to overcome the old school mentality associated with the store.
The family-owned business provides top quality service to the community and tries to provide the items that the town needs to gain success and grow. Fogle True Value & Hardware now employs 12 people full-time and also has two part-time employees. Steve and Leona took over the operation in the fall of 2013 and have increased sales by $250,000 since that time. Through advertising in the local paper and over the radio, staying active on Facebook, and word-of-mouth advertising, the business continues to see growth.
Fogle True Value & Hardware stays active in the community by donating to different local causes. The store works with the Betterment or Bust (BOB) group to contribute to community projects. Sometimes they just donate their time or supplies to the BOB causes, but other times they offer the group discounts so they can afford more materials.
Referred by his bank, Steve and Leona contacted Bryan Ziegler, director of the Indian Hills Small Business Development Center (SBDC), for business counseling services when he decided to purchase the store. Bryan helped to guarantee their loan at the bank and helped to create financial projections for the client.
“Working with Bryan was great. He had a lot of good insight and ideas,” Steve says. “He pretty much made this happen.”
Bryan and Steve are still in contact as Steve continues to take advantage of the SBDC services available. He will reach out for business counseling when he decides to open another hardware store about 25 miles away from Fogle True Value. Steve and Leona eventually plan on passing the hardware store down to their children.
To learn more about the offerings of Fogle True Value, please visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/fogletruevaluecenterville/ or call the store at (641) 856-6353.
Written by: Jolene Schaefer