Griffin Ace Hardware is celebrating nearly 30 years as Carmel Valley’s neighborhood hardware store with a complete remodel. Open since 1991, Griffin Ace was one of the first stores in Piazza Carmel and is still going strong.
Griffin Ace Hardware opened its first store in 1953 in Santa Ana. The second and third generation of the family continues to operate the business: Bill and Sharon Griffin are currently still actively involved in the regular operations, but their three daughters have taken on leadership roles within the company. Shannon Carney serves as president; Del Mar resident Kelly Hollingsworth is vice president of merchandising and Stacey Jess, a Carmel Valley resident, serves as vice president of marketing. In addition to the Carmel Valley store, they also opened a third location in 4S Ranch in 2008.
The three sisters all grew up working in the family business and all three are fairly handy.
“We’re so lucky because family for us is everything,” said Jess, a Carmel Valley resident, of the family that has expanded to include eight grandchildren. “We all get along so well and enjoy working together.”
The remodel project started in January, converting the flooring from dated linoleum to polished concrete, adding new fixtures and changing the layout by moving departments for the first time since 1991. Their expanded BBQ and outdoor living area is now closer to the front, complete with Big Green Eggs and Traeger grills, patio furniture and Yeti coolers.
Since changing the layout, Jess said she hears even regular customers remarking “I had no idea you had this.” In addition to the new layout bringing eyes to different areas, they have also added a lot of new products such as battery-powered STIHL power tools.
Griffin Ace packs a lot of product into their square footage—the plumbing and electrical departments are located on a second story and below is a big selection of hardware and paint (the Magnolia Home brand is a favorite, as well as Benjamin Moore Paints & Exterior Stains), lawn and garden, hand and power tools, cleaning supplies and automotive needs. Known as “Ace…The Helpful Place,” their knowledgeable staff is available for advice, how-to’s, tips and ideas and Jess said what many customers like is that they are an accessible alternative to a large outlet or big-box chain.
“A lot of customers have been with us since day one,” Jess said. “We are so lucky to serve a community that really appreciates what we offer.”
Those who have never been in Griffin Ace might be surprised by the home decor and gift section up front, which is almost a “store with a store.” The family shops and sources their goods internationally to bring in the most interesting and high-quality items. On a trip to Griffin Ace, Jess said a customer can get parts for a plumbing project as well as find a gift for a baby shower or a housewarming.
Just as they know it is important for their customers to shop local, its is just as important to Griffin Ace Hardware to support their local community in return. As a business, they are a big supporter of Rady Children’s Hospital and give back to local sports leagues, churches and schools.
“This is a family business,” Jess said. “We live in the community and we are here to serve the community.”
Griffin Ace Hardware is located at 3880 Valley Centre Dr., Ste 203, Carmel Valley, 92130. To learn more, visit griffinace.com
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