AP NEWS

Local business spotlight: Crosby Ace Hardware is a family affair

February 4, 2019

Vernon Hord remembers giving his daughter Katie washers and pieces of PVC pipe to play with when she was a child. Now Katie Hanus does the same for her elementary age children.

Vernon Hord and his wife Joni took over the ownership of Crosby Ace Hardware, now at the southwest corner of FM 2100 and Wahl Street in 1978 — the business had existed since the 1920s.

Now they are in the process of transferring the ownership to their children, Katie and Jacob.

Katie said the transition has been easy. She feels like her parents have been training them for years.

“My brother and I both grew up in the store. We literally were raised in the store,” Katie said.

When Vernon and Joni would go on vacation, Katie and Jacob would run the store.

“It was the best; I loved it,” Katie reminisced about growing up in a hardware store. “I ran around wild, learning all kinds of things. You could find anything to play with. My favorite thing to play with was quarter inch flat washers, I would — we didn’t have smart phones back then — I would make little designs. It was great. We just grew up helping mom and dad, seeing lots of people; that was the best part.”

That experience made Katie quite handy.

When she went away for college she never had to call somebody to help fix something like a leaky faucet.

Her happiest memory is when she was seven or eight and she helped an older gentleman with a cane find a piece for his hose. He gave her a quarter as a tip.

“I remember being so proud of myself,” she recalled fondly. “I remember skipping down — there was an Exxon station right here at the railroad tracks and Kernohan — and I remember skipping down there and getting some candy. I thought I was just the smartest girl in the world. It was mostly him, he made me feel that I was super special for helping him. That’s probably my happiest memory.”

Vernon likes that Crosby is a small community. He used to know almost every customer’s name, but he said that the town has grown too quickly for him to keep up with all the names.

For the first 20 years that Vernon and Joni owned Crosby Ace Hardware, it was located a block further north at Kernohan and FM 2100.

“We moved here 20 years ago, and we moved in on a weekend and we were able to accomplish that because my customers volunteered to come up here and help,” Vernon recalled. “We probably had 50 local customers that showed up on a weekend, Saturday and Sunday, to help us move the merchandise. That showed us what kind of community Crosby is.”

People have always gathered in the back of the building at 7:30 in the morning to drink coffee and talk about the local happenings. Vernon rattled off a list of regulars, lamenting that some have passed away, but said that there are now some second, and even third, generation people who come for the morning coffee gathering,

elliott.lapin@hearst.com

AP RADIO
Update hourly