Customer service is top priority at Lovell’s Hardware

By Mike Lange
Staff Writer

    GUILFORD — When a local business treats customers like they’re family and goes out of their way to be helpful, you can’t go wrong. That’s the philosophy that’s helped Lovell’s Hardware in Guilford grow and prosper, even in tough economic times.

BU-LovellsStaff-DC-PO-34Observer photo/Mike Lange

    LOVELL’S TEAM — The Lovell’s Hardware team consists of, from left, Danielle Davis, Andy Lovell, Dustin Woodard, Aaron Danner, Mark Lewis and Ray Ferraro. Not pictured are Sheldon Woodard and part-time employees Terry Deane and Lois Prescott.

    “My wife and I wouldn’t be where we are today if it hadn’t been for our crew,” said Andy Lovell, who bought the business with his wife, Terry, in 2006. Lovell, who had more than 25 years’ experience as a building contractor, recalled renovating the building in 1986 for the previous owner.
    “We’ve added on to the front and side of the building after we bought the business, and we’re always improving our inventory. When we get two or three calls for a specific item, we’ll start carrying it,” he said.
    But even non-stocked items aren’t a problem at Lovell’s Hardware. In the summer months, 30 to 50 items  delivered per week are special orders. “If a customer wants it, we’re going to find it,” Lovell said.

BU-LovellsDanny-DC-PO-34Observer photos/Mike Lange

    SERVICE WITH A SMILE — Danielle Davis, left, discusses an order with Milwaukee Tool Co. sales rep Ryan Deely.

    One of the popular items at Lovell’s is something you normally don’t find in a hardware store: Keurig coffee, brewers and K-cups. “We have over 30 flavors of Keurig and Green Mountain coffee in stock, and it’s definitely bringing us new customers,” he added.
    Still, Lovell’s is a fully-stocked, nuts-and-bolts hardware store with tools – hand and power – electrical, plumbing and building supplies; lighting, gardening equipment, wood and pellet stoves, feed grain, a complete line of paint and stain, and those odds and ends you can’t do without in your home or garage.
    Ray Ferraro is the store’s paint and stain specialist, Lovell said. Ferraro said that one of the most recommended products is Duck Back, a California-based sealant and stain. “It meets all EPA standards and covers everything from concrete to siding,” Ferraro said. “Typically, it only requires a single coat. But it’s far superior in longevity and durability.”

BU-LovellsDustin-DC-PO-34Observer photos/Mike Lange

    THE GO-TO GUY — Dustin Woodard is described by Lovell’s owners Andy and Terry Lovell as their “go-to guy” because of his knowledge of the store’s inventory.

    Other team members are Danielle Davis, Dustin Woodard, Aaron Danner, Mark Lewis, Sheldon Woodard and part-timers Terry Deane and Lois Prescott.
    Davis picked up the nickname “Lady MacGyver” from the popular TV show because of her ability to fix almost anything in the store.
    “Danny is extremely dedicated and very hard working,” Lovell said. “She has the same positive attitude if there are two people in the store or 25.
    Lovell remembers the time when she was first hired and a customer came in with a stovepipe assembly, and needed some parts. So Davis, wanting to make sure the sizes matched up, took the pipe with her when she picked up the parts “and had soot all over her by the time she got to the counter,” Lovell said with a smile.
    Dustin Woodard is the store’s “go-to guy. He knows where everything is and how it works,” Lovell said. “We call him our most valuable employee, and the rest of the crew agrees.”
    Lewis is one of Lovell’s most knowledgeable employees, especially in the area of electrical and plumbing supplies; Sheldon Woodard, Dustin’s cousin, and Danner are the yard men who take care of Lovell’s growing lumber inventory, building supplies and delivery; Deane dusts the 3,900 square-foot store every week; and Prescott takes care of the cash-ups and statements.

BU-LovellsTruck-DC-PO-34Observer photo/Mike Lange

    ON THE ROAD — Lovell’s Hardware has a knuckle boom truck that eases delivery of bulk items like wood pellets and bundles of shingles. From April through November, Lovell’s averages six to eight deliveries per day. Pictured is owner Andy Lovell.

    One recent addition is a knuckle-boom delivery truck that makes it easier to drop loads of wood pellets, shingles or other bulk goods “right where the customer wants it,” Lovell said.
    “My wife is the one who pays the bills. So when we discussed buying the truck and she said ‘Go ahead,’ that was a big step forward,” Lovell said.
    From April through November, Lovell’s averages six to eight deliveries per day, usually within a 50 mile radius of Guilford.
    Lovell’s Hardware is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and online at www.lovellsguilfordhardware.com

BU-LovellsPaint-DC-PO-34Observer photo/Mike Lange

   SPECIALIST — Ray Woodard is considered the Lovell’s Hardware paint and stain specialist. One of the biggest selllers is Duck Back, a sealant and stain that covers everything from concrete to siding.

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