Brian & Scott Miller prepare for the grand opening of their new Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware store
It's been an exciting and challenging year for the Paul Miller family, owners of the Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware. Having to find a new location for their store, the Millers purchased the property at the corner of the Sterling Highway and South Kobuk St. in Soldotna and began construction of a new building last spring. In an era of mega stores and turn style check out lanes the old Soldotna Hardware store was a popular alternative to warehouse shopping, a nostalgic place with wood floors that reminded you of how shopping was in the middle of the last century. A store where a customer could come in with an odd sized something-or-other and ask a clerk behind the counter, usually one of the Miller family, where you could find the what-cha-ma-call-its and in a few minutes walk out with just what you needed and maybe a new pair of work gloves because they were on sale.
Brian and Scott Miller
Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware celebrated the grand opening of their new store Tuesday, and the public was thrilled that inside the new larger building the classic style hardware store remained, "Although we doubled the square footage, we really wanted to keep the same cozy feel of the old store and not get too far away from our roots," said Scott Miller. The new store still has the old fashioned wood floors and upstairs office where you can still ask Paul, Scott, or Brian where to find the thing-er-ma-jigs, or if they can put a thread on the end of a pipe. They've doubled their employees, but you can still step up to the counter with your purchase and not go through a check out scanner. The grand opening included a couple thousand dollars worth of give-a-ways, and a four wheeler, "A lot of our vendors gave us phenomenal deals to pass on to our customers throughout our grand opening month , so it's an exciting time for our family, crew, and our customers," said Brian Miller. The VFW post joined in with a flag raising ceremony and gun salute for the new store.
Miller brothers Brian and Scott invite everyone to come in and see their new Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware
Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware has become famous for their winter Ice Fishing Derby and this year was the largest event ever according to store managers Scott and Brian Miller. "It was a phenomenal year; we had over 1,000 people register fish this year. One snowbird even returned from Florida because his grandson wanted to enter the ice fishing derby," said Scott. The Ice Fishing Derby had also become of interest to local biologists who were concerned about the number of large Northern Pike, not a native specie, that were being caught in local lakes, "Last year for example we had over 400 pike entered in the derby, but this year it dropped to less than 100, so I think that Fish & Game has been pretty successful with their netting program and encouraging everyone to keep what they catch and help get these fish out of our lakes. The Pike also weren't as large this year," added Miller. The fishing derby will continue to be Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware's signature event at their new location as well, "It's a lot of fun and something that local's can really sink their teeth into in the middle of winter and gives them something to do and look forward to as well as being a lot of fun for our crew," said Brian. Scott & Brian also said that the new store was a dream come true for their father Paul and that they were looking forward to continuing to serve the community at their new facility. Grand opening specials will continue at the new Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware throughout the month of April.
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