Closer Look

Ace Hardware focus is on customer service

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Emma Cait Breeden

Appalachian Ace Hardware, a proven resource in this area, is a local hardware store owned by Josh Patrick, who aims to diligently serve the community, his customers, and his employees. 

The hardware store carries an array of items, but Patrick states that the most successful and diverse section of the store is the Garden Center. He described the Garden Center as “very communal,” selling plants only from the local area. 

“The farthest we even go away from the store is Lavonia, Ga.,” he said. “Our plants are from this region and are grown in this region, so they last very well. We have to replace very few plants, because they are grown right here, pretty much. Our customers seem to really like that and appreciate that.”

APPALACHIAN ACE Hardware stocks traditional hardware-related items, such as tools, nuts, bolts, and paint, but it also features gift items, some of which are handmade locally. The Garden Center at Ace is a huge draw to the store and includes all locally or regionally grown plants.

As a classic hardware store, Ace also carries a variety of paints, tools, kitchen products, and unique gift items, including some that are locally crafted. 

Reflecting on the dedication of the store and its employees, Patrick also pointed out, “As folks start coming in and we don’t have something, we get it; so, we are always evolving.”


After spending his early childhood in Orlando, Fla., Patrick’s family moved to Franklin. He graduated from Franklin High School and then pursued a degree in Construction Management at Western Carolina University, then moving to Atlanta, Ga. 

“I worked for Keywood, a heavy civil contractor, for seven or eight years,” he shared. “Then we moved back [to Franklin] and I worked different jobs here for a little while before [the opportunity to own] Ace came about. I heard it through the grapevine [that it was for sale] and then I started checking in on it,” said Patrick. 

He began looking into purchasing Appalachian Ace, becoming the official owner in April 2016. Since then, he has built up a relationship with the community of Franklin. 

“COVID kind of dampened a little of all the things we used to do,” he said. “We used to do the West Side Block party and all that, and it kind of went away during the pandemic. Since then, everybody’s gotten a little bit busy, so we haven’t really brought it back.” 

GRILL-OUTS scheduled for some Saturdays provide a way for Appalachian Ace Hardware employees to interact with customers and learn interests and needs.

However, Patrick said, “We do some grill-outs on Saturdays here, just to get everybody hanging out and seeing what we have. We grill for [customers], talk to them, and let them know what we are doing and what we offer them. We’ve had a lot of the same core employees for a long time, so they do know our customers really well and take care of them.”

Patrick noted that what truly sets the Appalachian Ace Hardware store apart is their customer service. 

“We pride ourselves in that and we actually live up to it. We help every customer that walks through the door with as much as possible. We will even fix [something that is broken] or find the parts if we can. We don’t mind doing stuff like that; we’ve got a workbench in the back.” 

Appalachian Ace Hardware primarily connects with customers and keeps them abreast of what is happening in the store – and how it is serving the community – through its Facebook page:

Emma Cait Breeden is a senior and an honors student at Franklin High School.