What started with one store and one branch of the Fuller family tree has grown into six stores led by the fourth generation of the Fuller family. Fuller & Son Hardware recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with a celebration that captured the spirit of family and community the company is founded on.
The company, led by Bobby Fuller and his sons, Jeff and JR, has been serving central Arkansas since 1921. Bobby’s wife, Carolyn, and JR’s wife, Kacky, both play key roles in the company as well.
“Working with family is a lot easier than people make it out to be,” Jeff says. “Of course, we have our disagreements, but we always come back to our love for each other and love for our company. We each do our own thing in the company and we respect each others’ gifts and talents for running the business.”
The family chose to honor their faithful employees and customers with a night out at the ballpark over Labor Day weekend, giving away nearly 600 free tickets. In the weeks leading up to the game, customers and employees could pick up their free ticket to the Arkansas Travelers baseball game. Numerous employees from Orgill, the company’s wholesaler, also attended the game to honor and celebrate the Fullers.
That evening, the lineup of special events included an Arkansas Travelers poster for the first 1,000 fans, Fuller & Son merchandise giveaways, raffle prizes and a postgame fireworks show.
The game was a family affair as well, with Parker Fuller singing the national anthem, JR throwing out the first pitch, Jeff partaking in part of the game’s radio broadcast and the Fuller grandchildren participating in the between-inning games.
The event was the perfect exclamation point for the last 100 years and the company’s dedication to its customers.
“Over the last 100 years, we’ve taken it one customer at a time. It sounds cliche, but our job is to help people,” Jeff says. “We tell our employees, selling hardware is actually a boring job, but helping people is exciting and fulfilling.”
The company is also grateful for its employees, who are a big reason the company is successful.
“While big companies try and do all they can to take the human out of the process, we know our people are our most valuable asset,” Jeff says. “They find creative solutions to problems and make our stores great places to be.”
For Jordan Rocke, Fuller & Son Hardware was her first real job when she was a teenager and years later, she’s back working at the Maumelle store.
“I really like to work here because the Fullers are such great people. The way the Fullers care about their employees goes a long way because it makes you want to go out of your way to do the best you can,” she says. “I love our customers, I love to help people and I’ve always been interested in this line of work. When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.”
As the Fullers look toward the future, they plan to take it one step—and one customer—at a time. They plan on launching the company’s first e-commerce website and continue growing in central Arkansas, serving their customers with their Triple Guarantee, helpful employees and commitment to the community.
“Overall, we do a pretty good job reacting and planning to the world around us,” Jeff says. “What’s on the horizon is a lot of work and just seeing what’s next.”