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Perry's does it best

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By Cindy DiFazio

Staff writer/photographer

G.W. and Martha Perry are the perfect pair to own Perry’s Hardware in Eminence. “We have about 90 years’ experience between us,” Perry said.

Both were hardware buyers for different concerns for decades beginning in the early 1960s.

Their broad knowledge is a boon for customers. Perry believes smaller stores can compete with the big boys price-wise as well as offer services they don’t.

Perry tries to keep prices low by shopping for wholesale bargains. He and Martha attend two hardware conventions each year looking for special deals. “We catch bargains and pass them on to our customers,” Perry said.

Perry’s Hardware is a Do It Best franchise store, which allows the store to reap the benefits of corporate sponsorship while retaining its independence. “Do It Best franchises are co-ops and stores are dealer owned,” he said.

Do It Best offers weekly and monthly specials and customers may shop online for items not in stock locally. Orders are delivered to Perry’s with no shipping costs to the customer.

The building originally opened in 1980 as a hardware, plumbing and electric business. Perry bought the store in 1991, and added building materials to the existing inventory. Located on Kentucky 22 in Eminence the business encompasses five acres of prime real estate. “We’ve got a good location,” Perry said.

Lumber and other building materials as well as pre-fabricated sheds and outdoor play equipment are easily accessible. “We’ve been selling a lot of barn metal since the windstorm,” Perry said.

Perry’s son Bryan Perry helps run the store, and father and son are teaching Tanya Metten the ropes. She has worked there only three weeks, but seems right at home and is eager to learn. “Right now I know the screws are to the left and the nails are on the right,” Metten said. “I don’t know much, but they know it all.”

Three-year employee Roy Dewitt is a 41-year resident of Henry County. Perry and the staff teasingly call him “Dew Itt Best.” He does the bulk of heavy lifting out in the lot., and at 65, shows no signs of slowing down. “It’s all in your head,” he said.

Perry said the downturn in home building hasn’t really hurt his business. “People are still doing repairs and remodeling,” he said. “We can just about do a whole house.” Remodelers should note Perry’s offers Porter and Valspar paint and custom paint matching.

Perry said they also still get a lot of contractor business. “They’ve got to have what they need,” he said, “and if we don’t have it we can get it.”

Metten pointed out Perry’s even carries a few specialty items not necessarily in the hardware category. On an end-cap there is a shelf of Pure Kentucky Honey, Granny’s Garden lotions and Candle Maker tin candles.

Perry’s Hardware hours are 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday. Do It Best’s website is www.doitbest.com.

“We do it best,” Perry said.

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