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Miner’s Ace Hardware Partners With Farm

Helping another local business was a customer service opportunity in multiple ways for Miner’s Ace Hardware.

Talley Farms in Arroyo Grande, California, approached Miner’s Ace, which has seven stores in California, with a request: turn the seven Ace stores into grocery pickup sites for a unique farm-to-table subscription.

The request seemed like an opportunity, not just to help Talley Farms but also to serve existing and new Ace customers. The program was also a fresh way to bring more people into Miner’s Ace stores regularly.

Talley Farms offers boxes of fresh produce weekly to subscribers, who pay the farm for a subscription and then collect their Talley boxes each week from Miner’s Ace stores. All Miner’s Ace has to do is provide space for Talley Farms to drop off and store the boxes for up to two days at a time.

Miner’s Ace has the freedom to choose where to place the boxes, and can merchandise products nearby to appeal to the Talley customers. Talley Farms takes care of providing a week’s worth of fresh vegetables and fruit and recipes for how to use them—and Miner’s Ace gets hundreds of customers coming to its stores up to twice a week. Talley Farms grows the produce, and sources what it doesn’t grow from other local farmers.

Miner’s stores, which are located in seven different communities, provide Talley Farms with convenient pickup locations for its local customers in each area.

Customers collect their Talley boxes one day a week at the Ace store in their community, and most of them return on a second day to give their boxes back to Talley to reuse, according to Laurel Cadena, marketing director for Miner’s Ace. That’s hundreds of extra footsteps into Miner’s Ace stores, courtesy of Talley.

Not all of the Talley customers shop for hardware or other products at the home improvement stores. Many people run in, collect their boxes and leave. But many often buy a few items they need, just because they’re already in the store. And Cadena has occasionally placed promotional ads and products from the Ace stores in the boxes to draw extra attention to the stores.

The days the Ace locations get deliveries from Talley Farms, store traffic swells and sales go up as well, Cadena says. Recently, Talley customers picked up nearly 500 produce boxes in a week from the Miner’s Ace stores.

Look for opportunities to partner with other businesses to offer services. A partnership, such as the one Miner’s Ace has with Talley Farms, could boost your business while helping another local business thrive.

“I think any time you can get a bunch of footsteps through your store, you win,” Cadena says.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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