Tools and tuxedoes: Bryan’s ACE Hardware has it all

Retailer in Keystone Heights offers variety of unique goods

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KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – If you need plumbing supplies, a shovel, a hammer or any hardware tools and supplies, Bryan’s Ace Hardware is your go-to.

If you also need small pet bearded lizards, fish, chicks, stuffed animals, flowers, or even tuxedo rentals, then the store is also your go-to.

You can find pretty much whatever you want at this store. There is even an entire room full of Yankee Candles.

Joe Bryan, the original owner of the store, began with hardware products as the bread and butter of the store. To try and gain more attention from women, the store started to diversify its merchandise. They began to sell more gift items, and the store continued to grow.

“A little company would go out of business, and they’d call us,” said Ray Cunningham, one of the owners of the store. “That’s how we got into Yankee candle.”

Simply put, Bryan’s Ace Hardware has it all. They have one of the most comprehensive and best-selling knife sections in northeast Florida.

“We get people from three to four hours away coming here to buy knives,” Cunningham said. “We’d like to think we have one of the largest knife selections in the northeast [Florida].”

Animals are well represented, with selections of small lizards, fish, scorpions and chicks. Of course, in having all of these available, there is feed for them all and feed for larger livestock.

As with any hardware store, there are also plenty of plants in an outdoor nursery. There is a large lawn and garden section as well. With COVID-19 keeping many at home from earlier in the year, the store saw some of the same spikes in sales that many other hardware stores have.

“Pretty large lawn and garden for us. Lawn and garden is a huge thing for us,” Cunningham said. “Anything outdoors was huge this year.”

When the store purchased a florist years ago, the tuxedo rental business came along with it. That part of sales does well, often supplying many students from nearby Keystone Heights High for their proms and homecoming events. They also supply many people for weddings in the area. Cunningham believes that the store is the only one in town that provides tuxedo rentals.

“You’ve got your traditional hardware [items] in the middle of all that,” said Cunningham. “Your plumbing, electrical, just your basic hardware. Grills have been really good the last couple years; we’ve expanded that. That’s the thing. We’re always looking at what’s the new niche? It’s all about what kind of new niche can we bring in? if one niche isn’t working, that’s ok because something else is.”

Chances are, whatever you need, short of groceries, Bryan’s Ace hardware will have it.

“It’s a family environment. The whole family comes in and shops. One will go this way, one will go this way, and the kids go over to the pets. They all meet in the middle. It’s nothing to be in here for an hour, just shopping. We pride ourselves in the customer service for a family-oriented visit.”

The store is located at 251 E. Walker Dr.

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