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Wentz celebrates 40 years at Hardware Hank

By Staff | Jul 8, 2016

Current Hardware Hank staff. Back row (left to right): Terry Hoffert, Fred Bonn, Balzer Weld, Dwight Jelsing, Jesse Faine. Front row: Jackie Klebe, Rojean Wentz, Terry Wentz and Margaret Mear. Not pictured: Lisa Kargslie, Sandy Wickiewetiez and Karissa Maus (bookkeeper).

Hardware Hank is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Terry Wentz and his wife, Rojean, purchased the store then Coast to Coast Hardware in 1976 and moved to its current location in 1979. Wentz then joined the Hardware Hank name in 1989 after Coast to Coast filed bankruptcy.

Since then, Hardware Hank has grown to become much more than the local hardware store. It is a community center, a place where customers can go to see a friendly face and receive the help they need.

“We strive for customer service,” Terry Wentz said. “When you walk in the store, I want someone to say ‘Good morning, can I help you?'”

Hardware Hank takes pride in its customers, something that Wentz has instilled in every one of the employees there. “I always remind my guys that when someone comes in, they’re here for a reason, and we better have a solution,” he said. “We’re here to take care of the customers, to take care of their needs, and to give them a fair price.”

To celebrate the anniversary, Hardware Hank is having small sales and events all year round. The store has already begun these promotions, previously having a “Buy One, Get One” sale on paint, sale prices on baskets from Lawn and Garden, and even selling 24-bottle cases of water for $1.99. More promotions are expected throughout the year.

Wentz said he wants to celebrate this way by giving back to the community and having sales on “stuff that everyone can use.” The community, after all, has been the store’s greatest support system.

“The community has been super excellent to me, and very supportive,” Wentz said. “I can’t say enough to the community of Rugby.”

Being a part of Hardware Hank has been both a challenge and a joy for Wentz, but he has loved every second of it. “I have a lot of fun,” he said. “I love what I do, I love the customers, and I love the challenge, I love to see everything [my business] succeed. It’s an art, kind of, to run a business. I love it.”

With customers from all over the region, including some from as far as Bismarck, Hardware Hank has definitely become a success in the past 40 years. “When I think about it, 40 years wow, it went so fast. If you love what you do, time goes fastit goes too fast,” Wentz said. “We like doing it here, and we’ve got good people. This is a real hardware store.”

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