Kendall's Ace Hardware: A family-run place full of friendly faces

Kendall's Ace is decorated with homemade sculptures throughout the store. From paint to plumbing, Kendall’s Ace has dedicated employees who can help with any home improvement project.

Owner Kendall Crosby with daughter and manager Ashley Lloyd, and her husband, Matt Lloyd

The Kendall’s Ace crew representing the store during a recent local parade.

Stepping into Kendall's Ace Hardware at the corner of Payne Avenue and Phalen Boulevard, the first thing patrons will notice is the giant screw sculpture jutting from the building. The second thing they'll notice are the shining smiles and sincere help offered inside.

Owner Kendall Crosby has been in the hardware business since he got his first job at Suburban Hardware in West St. Paul at 15 years old. Though he started out quietly, Crosby grew into the work and ended up in charge of his own store by his senior year of high school.

Opening his own hardware store, Crosby had a simple vision: to be the friendliest shop in town. Every employee is hired and trained with that simple thought in mind. 

Kendall's Ace keeps customers' happiness at the forefront in everything they do. The store accomplishes this is by having a designated manager on hand for each of the store's departments. That way, there's always an expert to answer questions and accomplish any job fast and efficiently. 

With a near lifelong commitment to the hardware business, it's no surprise Crosby's family is also involved. His daughter, Ashley Lloyd, and her husband, Matt, are currently in training to take over the store.

"Taking the business to the next level and handing it over to the next generation can be tough," Crosby says. "But we're still trying to keep it family run."

Ashley is the manager in charge behind her father, as well as in charge of interviews and the paint department. Matt is the second manager and handles training new employees. While the couple technically started in 2004, Ashley has always been involved at the store since youth. 

"It's exciting," says Ashley of becoming an owner. "It's amazing to see how far my father has come and for it to be passed down."

"Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps," adds Matt. "It really is a piece of history being handed down."

The couple's main goal in transitioning to ownership is keeping Crosby's vision alive. 

"It can be tough sometimes," Matt says. "Especially when situations get difficult. But it has to be genuine and come from the heart. Sometimes folks are just having a bad day — it's humbling, and it helps just to help out."

Crosby is helping the transition by empowering his employees to have the independence to choose the best decisions in difficult situations. In doing so, he's been able to step back and relax a bit, knowing the shop is in good hands.

From the homemade sculptures, to the dedicated and knowledgeable employees, Kendall's Ace Hardware stands out as a place where customers can rest easy knowing they're receiving the best help at the friendliest store in town. 

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