So, you’ll working on a project and you realize you need a part or advice. Where can you go? Home-n-Ranch Center, our local Littlerock hardware store, owned and operated for 10 years by Bill and Linda Myers. These mild-mannered folks moved to California from the blustery Maine climate 27 years ago. No surprise that after 22 years of Los Angeles, they bought a weekend retreat: a ranch in Three Points. They “fell in love with the Antelope Valley” and wanting to make it their year-round home, began searching for a business to purchase as well.
Bill’s background as a mechanical engineer working with industrial heating and air conditioning systems fueled his interest in wanting a hardware store. Linda’s field was life and medical insurance, and executive benefits; so they merged their talents determined to take on the challenges of a business. Their search ended when the real estate agent showed them the Littlerock Home-n-Ranch Center. Though it was obvious to them that much work was needed to turn it into a thriving business, the Myers were up for it.
Nowadays you can get just about anything there from plumbing, paint, electrical, cement and welding supplies, animal care and feed, to holiday decorations, or even a sweet treat. If they don’t have it, they will get it for you provided it is available from the warehouse. For example: Carol Pierce’s old (ancient?) umbrella clothesline collapsed. She wanted a new one and looked everywhere in the Valley. The Myers located one and got it for her. This type of service is how they want the community to think of them: “their True Value neighborhood hardware store.”
Bill is known for helping with plumbing problems like broken or leaking pipes or valves. It calls for creative improvising, because most plumbing systems and parts are out of date. A solution he hasn’t come up with yet occurs at Christmas time. It seems all too often folks stringing up their outdoor lights start with the wrong end attached to the house. In the end, they can’t connect to the electricity without restringing the whole set, as no adaptor exists yet. Their line of business makes for some great stories like the following.
A man came in looking for “regular nails.” Bill showed him their assortment (concrete, 4-penny, finish nails, etc.) none of which is labeled “regular”. The customer left in a huff, because they didn’t have “regular” nails. In any case, they love to hear, “We hope you have what we need, so we don’t have to drive into town,” from their regular customers. Such an example occurred during the construction of the Pierce’s patio addition. It seems the workers needed some materials and asked where to go. Don told them about Lowe’s and Home Depot, and the guys left. Quite soon the men returned to the house, purchases in hand and said, “You’ve got a fantastic hardware store just down the hill!”
Home-n-Ranch has a great relationship with area organizations and businesses. Linda said, ” We have enjoyed the warm reception and support. The local businesses have been extremely supportive. In this sluggish economy, commercial accounts have kept the business going.” Similarly, Home-n-Ranch helps nonprofit groups like the Littlerock Chamber of Commerce and Juniper Hills Junibees and the Juniper Hills Town Council by offering their t-shirts, mugs, sweatshirts and calendars for sale in the store. They also provided gift certificates for the wine tasting raffle prizes and other events.
How the Meyers maintain their pleasant demeanors with a job that’s almost 24/7 is beyond this writer! Vacations are almost unheard of when you own your own business, and though they are lucky to have some good help; they still are the ones who worry about the daily management details. They endure double stress when fires and robberies threaten both their business and home.
Whether you go to drop off a recyclable item for the Littlerock Chamber of Commerce bins, need a part, a repair idea, or browse for a gift (and who doesn’t need more tape or a cool tool) or other item you didn’t even realize existed; stop in to say “Hi” to Linda and Bill at the Ranch-n-Home Center.