After two decades owning and managing different Tim Hortons in Western New York, Manny Varma said he was done and needed a change. He wanted out of the fast food industry and started looking for something else.
That something else became an opportunity to open and own an ACE Hardware store. He said he liked the culture of the company and thought it would be a good change. He opened Manny’s Ace Hardware on Broadway in Depew in December of 2019. Happy with those results, he is now opening another store in East Aurora.
“I love the culture, the vibe and energy in East Aurora,” Varma said. “It’s a great atmosphere here.”
The new location will be at 42 Riley St., located in the former Sears store, across the street from the ice rink. This will be one of the largest ACE superstores, he said, as it will utilize 20,000 square feet for its inventory. His Depew location is around 10,000 square feet.
Right now, work is ongoing to get the store ready for an opening on Nov. 23. He said a grand opening will take place in the spring or summer, but for now the goal is to be open for the holidays, including Black Friday, and let people know they are in the community.
While there are other hardware stores in the area, he thought there was enough of a need in the region for this new store so people do not have to drive out to other communities to shop for tools or supplies.
With that 20,000 square feet of space, the store will feature 40,000 different items and power tools. Along with tools, a prime focus will be on making a “grilling center” with a wide range of grills and backyard barbecue items for sale. They will deal in the popular brands such as Weber and Big Green Egg for grills.
“It’ll blow your mind how much inventory we will be able to pack in here,” Varma said. “I think it will be the coolest hardware store you’ve ever been to.”
Once open, people will be able to search and order items online and pick them up for free. He said the plan is to have three truck deliveries each week to replenish supplies or to bring in items people request online that are not in stock at that time. He said this is the way the store is able to compete with online shopping.
Varma and his store manager, Jennifer Hansen, are looking for people who have experience as electricians or plumbers who want to work at the store to guide shoppers in home improvement repairs. He said he thinks it would be a good part time position for people who have knowledge in the trades and want a place to work.
The store will offer services like screen repairs or lawn mower blade sharpening, but no small engine repair work. He said there are enough businesses in the area that can do that service and he would rather work with them to help a customer.
For more information about the store or to inquire about a job, contact Jennifer Hansen, store manager, at email@example.com. Once the store is open, people can find it online at www.acehardware.com/ and search for the East Aurora location. Hours of operation will be Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m.