After 37 years with Wayne and Chris Adams at the helm, ownership of Park Avenue True Value hardware in Montrose is changing hands.
Robert Peterson purchased the store, one of the more well known locations on Main Street, with assistance from Grand Mesa Real Estate Services.
He moved to Montrose in February and took ownership on Monday, a family effort as brother Kevin Schuyler helped Peterson throughout the process. (Schuyler will remain in Charlottesville, Virginia, for business, but will visit Montrose periodically.)
“I can’t wait to embrace the community, and continue the legacy Chris and Wayne have created. I have a long road ahead of me, and look forward to meeting everyone in Montrose, and surrounding areas to share this new adventure with. Thank you all for helping me pave the road into the future,” Peterson said in a statement.
Peterson, who said he plans to be at the store daily on the floor helping customers, said it was his lifelong dream to own a hardware store. In just a few weeks, he’s taken a liking to the community vibe.
“I’m super excited to work with the community and take over the store,” Peterson said in an interview last week.
“I’m just amazed at how friendly everybody is. It’s just a really friendly community.”
“Robb is going to fit right into the community,” Wayne said.
Peterson and Schuyler hopped on a Zoom call in mid-January with the Adamses, who were reviewing potential buyers. It didn’t take long to realize it was a perfect fit.
“I felt comfortable immediately, and I’m pretty sure they did, too,” Wayne said. “No wrestling match, and everything went the way it was supposed to go. That’s unusual.”
Selling the store in a family-to-family format was always the goal, Wayne said, rather than family-to-corporate or family-to-chain.
“It’s been so much easier than Chris and I thought it was going to be,” Wayne said. “... It was just meant to be I think, and it isn’t very often that you get to say that about a business deal like this. I have not had a bad feeling yet, and I expected it to be full of them.”
The Adamses opened the store in 1984, spending years helping out community members and offering a place for people to grab some household project tools, including Steele products. In 2008, True Value was named Retailer of the Year by the Montrose Area Merchants Association.
With the next owner, Peterson said Wayne had been looking for someone who could carry the effort and work the Adamses had done, and maintain the store as an asset to the community. (Peterson and Schuyler said they want to do their part to support and be involved with other local organizations in the community.) “We’re really hoping we can get involved and be good business citizens in this community,” Schuyler said.
Peterson, along with his familiarity with customer service, brings a home improvement background, and experience in the industry, to the ownership role. Born and raised in Aurora, and recently residing in Charlottesville, Peterson owned and managed a rental car company in the area, and also worked at Home Depot for 11 years and six more at Lowe’s, learning more about the industry.
Peterson added the industry itself is strong and viable, which is no surprise since the sale comes in the midst of the store experiencing a “great year,” Wayne said. Home improvements have catapulted to the top of people’s radars as quarantine and restrictions due to the pandemic gave people a chance to work on renovations. “It’s a lot of fun to help people get through a problem,” Wayne said of his time helping customers.
The recent success follows what’s developed in the area, as Wayne said he was encouraged to see storefronts open up shop on Main Street in the past few months — he’s also happy to see how much the younger population is developing a rapport with Montrose.
“Main Street is the best,” Wayne said. “I love Main Street. It’s had its ups and downs over the years, but by and large, we’re one of the diminishing number of viable Main Streets in the country, and there are some very promising businesses on Main Street right now and I’m tickled to be a part of it.”
Another company on Main Street, Park Avenue Parties (1865 E. Main St.), which is owned by Chris, won’t be changing hands. Chris and Wayne are planning on a “big” 2021 and 2022, after 2020 weddings and events were postponed due to the pandemic.
Community members eager to send well wishes to Wayne won’t have to go too far to do so. He won’t be going away anytime soon, and will stick around the store as an assistant on the floor to continue helping customers, something he’s quite familiar with.
“I’m excited about that,” Wayne said. “I’m a front of house guy, always have been.”