A Main Street mainstay for over 30 years, Chris and Wayne Adams opened True Value (601 East Main Street) back in 1983. They have been providing the community with everything from nuts and bolts to power tools and plumbing supplies ever since.
An enviable wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to everything concerned with home maintenance (and a whole lot more, too), Chris, Wayne and the staff at True Value either have what you need or they will get it for you. And, they are happy to share their knowledge to make sure you get the right product.
A local business run by local people, spending more than five minutes in True Value reveals the real beating heart of all downtown businesses - they know their customers and their customers know them. Friendly greetings are exchanged and conversations are picked up from where they left off the last time they were in the store. In fact, Chris and Wayne seem to know everyone that passes through their doors.
Make no mistake, life in retail these days isn’t easy. With the advent of online shopping and behemoths like Amazon as well as the arrival of the biggest of Big Box retailers, Mom and Pop stores like True Value have been fighting for their lives and for the livelihoods of their 20 employees.
In fact, in the 35 years since they opened their doors, things have changed drastically, but it is a challenge that has been met head on by Chris and Wayne. “Our store has evolved,” says Chris. “When we opened we were a true variety store. It was before Walmart, so we sold bicycles, we sold fishing poles, we sold tourist souvenirs and t-shirts.”
“A big chunk of our business is power equipment. Blowers, trimmers, chain saws, those kinds of things. We also rent equipment.” And while winter isn’t a particularly busy time for True Value, spring and summer are huge. “We are really busy when it comes to lawn and garden care, sprinkler systems, drip systems and things like that.”
Something else has changed in the last 35 years, too. “Our demographics have really changed over the years. We have more elderly people, women and Spanish-speakers these days,” Chris says.
After 35 years, Chris and Wayne are old hands when it come to changing times. In an effort to diversify, True Value has been offering a different kind of service to the community since 1998. Park Avenue Parties is the company’s rental division, offering tents, glassware and more, the division equips around 200 weddings a year as well as all kinds of other events. In fact, the party division now accounts for around half of the company’s business and is currently moving to bigger premises in the same building as San Juan Cinema on East Main Street.
As for Montrose Downtown, Chris is unsurprisingly a huge fan. In fact, she has served on the board of directors for the DDA. “I’m a cheerleader for downtowns everywhere,” she says. “They’re part of our community.” She goes on to say that she like places where she knows the names of the owners. “There’s something about that connection to community that’s nice,” she says.
Downtowns represent the soul of small communities - and that is absolutely true of Montrose - and while they are, and have been for a while, under threat from online retailers and big box stores, Downtown businesses will continue to offer that personalized and friendly service they are known for.
Stop by and say hi to Chris and Wayne and the staff at True Value today!
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