While certainly I’m thankful for our area’s national-chain big-box stores when it comes to addressing our consumer needs, I’m a strong local business advocate.
My go-to bike shop is Crankers, headed by Kent Fultz and backed by his strong team. A few years ago, as with many older folks, I got an urge to reconnect with my childhood primary mode of transportation, and it was Kent who provided me with the best $50 used bike I could have ever expected, one I’ve ridden, if my Pacer app is to be trusted, more than 1,200 miles, about the distance from Lima to Miami Beach. Despite my modest investment, he treated the sale as if I were buying the most expensive ride in his shop. It was also Kent who introduced me to the euphemism for what really is a girl’s bike (he called it a step-through), perfect for this senior with a bad enough back that mounts and dismounts are more easily executed without that annoying bar that I’ve never fully understood on boys’ bikes.
When it comes to my indoor sedentary entertainment, on more than one occasion over the years, I’ve turned to Hefner’s TV. I just don’t think, for both quality of product and service, you can do much better. The small business is one of Lima’s most venerable, dating back to 1955 when Roger Hefner opened his first television repair shop on South Main. I’ve never been disappointed with this family-run business. Dustin, a third-generation Hefner, was so helpful in making my beloved sporting events so much more enjoyable on my 52-incher when I headed out to the current location on Eastown Road.
Last spring, I decided it was time to focus on my back yard. The deck hadn’t been painted in several years. The landscaping needed some work. And, that 30-year-old hot tub sitting just off the deck breathed its last breath well over a year ago. After briefly toying but rejecting the notion to fill it with dirt and turn it into a giant planter, I turned to a trio of small businesses and a helpful neighborly couple to make the improvements.
As for the landscaping I wanted done, such as targeting areas of the yard a bit bereft of grass and planting a new bush and doing a lot of pruning, that was an easy call, one I made to Northwest Property Maintenance’s main man, John Sreenan, who I’ve used several times over the years. Sreenan also has proven he’s not just a small-business one-trick pony. In addition to the property management’s work, over the past several years, his company has also installed flooring, both hard surface and carpet and this month will open a showroom for flooring at 630 W. Spring St.
As for the painting of the deck, I came across a name I want all of you 60-plussers to know when you decide as I have that there’s better things to do than wielding a paintbrush, especially if a ladder is involved. Meet Delphos’ Tom Geise. I couldn’t have been happier both with his quote and with his work, work completed over two days, one day for each coat he applied.
While John and Tom were doing their things by doing my things, it was time to go shopping for a hot tub, which led me to Eversole Pool and Spa and Karolyn Eversole, who surely understands that in order for a small business to be successful, you’d better be fully invested, both during the sale and after.
I bought a Nordic Hot Tub, an end-of-the-year model for an excellent price, within a half hour. Karolyn then allowed me to keep the hot tub on the floor until everything was done, including the removal of the old hot tub done expertly by Karolyn’s crew, and the resetting of the bricks on the pad that had shifted under the old tub — work two terrific neighbors, Moe and Tina Miron, helped me do. I supplied some uneducated labor, and they supplied the brains! Helpful and knowledgeable neighbors are a lot like our area’s small businesses, except you can pay them with pizza and beer!
The installation of the new Nordic as well as the explanation of maintenance also was first class by the Eversole team. Additionally, my emailed follow-up questions were always addressed within 24 hours by Karolyn, someone I’d almost swear sleeps in her and husband Chad’s business.
So here’s to all of those upon whom I’ve relied when I’ve shopped small and local. Certainly it’s folks like the Hefners, Kent Foltz, Tom Geise, John Sreenan and Karolyn and Chad Eversole that prove there is indeed nothing small about our area’s small business.
John Grindrod is a regular columnist for The Lima News, a freelance writer and editor and the author of two books. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.