Three decades ago, Central Florida businessman and former North American Retail Hardware Association President Walter Toole purchased the existing Bray Hardware, a fixture in Winter Garden, Fla., since it was established there in 1906. His company, Toole’s Ace Hardware, has since expanded to an eight-store chain of neighborhood hardware stores.
The most recent, the approximately 4,000 square-foot Colonial Ace Hardware, opened April 15. In celebration of Toole’s Ace Hardware’s 30th anniversary and the official grand opening of Colonial Ace, Toole plans to celebrate with a two-day sale and grand opening event.
Toole’s Ace also has a tradition of giving back to the Central Florida area. Toole’s Ace continually supports local groups such as Little League teams, The Boy Scouts of America, for which Toole served as Chairman of the Rolling Hills district from 2007 to 2009 and received the esteemed Golden Eagle award in 2012.
Toole also served as president of the Winter Garden Rotary (1992-1993), West Orange Chamber of Commerce (1989) and the North American Retail Hardware Association (2006-2007). His son, Thomas, currently serves as Toole’s Ace Hardware’s company merchandiser.