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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Davis Ace Hardware, Aggie Ace Hardware stores sold to new owners

Ownership transfer expected to take place mid-April

Davis Ace Hardware and Aggie Ace Hardware are being sold to Crown Hardware, a hardware store company based in Orange County. The deal is expected to close in April, and the stores’ names will not be changed.

Davis Ace Hardware and Aggie Ace Hardware, according to their websites, sell “traditional Ace items, including paint, hand and power tools, electrical, air filters, lighting, plumbing, fasteners, automotive [supplies, and] camping supplies.” Despite the similar name and logo, they are not owned by the nationwide franchise Ace Hardware.

The new owners, Mark Schulein and Matt Fales, own 17 other hardware stores across California, Arizona and Hawaii. Schulein and Fales own the Crown Hardware franchise, primarily based in Orange County. COO Matt Fales and his wife are both UC Davis alumni.

“They are truly excited to bring their experience back to Davis,” said Jennifer Anderson, the former owner of Davis Ace Hardware, in a letter to customers. “We know they will continue our traditions and build new ones in our community and for our employees. This is really important to us.”

Anderson has been the president of Davis Ace Hardware since the 1960s. Anderson’s family has been involved with Davis Ace Hardware for 105 years — since 1914. The store recently celebrated its centennial.

The Anderson family acquired full ownership of Davis Ace Hardware in 1962. In 2012, they opened Aggie Ace Hardware on Covell Boulevard. Along with Davis Ace Hardware and Aggie Ace Hardware, Anderson’s family also owns the Rock Yard, Cookery & Company and Davis Ace Garden & Pet store in downtown Davis.

Donna Martin, who commutes to Davis for work, expresses long-standing appreciation for Davis Ace Hardware.

“I’ve been coming here for over 30 years,” Martin said. “They’re great, I really like them. They have everything, even little stuff that you’re looking for, they’ll have it.”

Martin did not know about the hardware store’s change in ownership.

“I just hope they don’t change anything,” Martin said.

Although Anderson is selling the store, she says she and her husband Doby Fleeman are not retiring.

“We know this is the time for us to step aside, and we wanted the right team to take over,” Anderson said. “Doby and I are not fully retiring. We will still be in the Davis community — committed to Davis Ace and Aggie Ace success through Crown. We still own other properties and investments.”

Anderson said she and her husband are selling the store because their children have careers, so it’s difficult for the store to stay in the family.

“Our children, now in their 20s, are firmly committed to their individual career directions,” Anderson said. “We love our business and have achieved the results we have with our incredible team of employees.”

Written by: Hannan Waliullah — city@theaggie.org



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