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Couple sells hardware stores

January 28, 2019
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Todd Terpstra, left, Lori Terpstra
Todd Terpstra, left, and Lori Terpstra. Courtesy Rylee’s Ace Hardware

The owners of several local hardware stores are passing the torch.

The third-generation owners of Rylee’s Ace Hardware, Lori Terpstra and Todd Terpstra, have announced their plans to retire and sell off their three Ace Hardware stores in the area.

The husband-and-wife team shared the news with employees on Sunday, assuring them of a seamless transition to the new owner, Farmington Hills-based Great Lakes Ace Hardware.

All three stores — at 1234 Michigan St. NE in Grand Rapids, 1205 W. Fulton St. in Grand Rapids and 4300 Remembrance Rd. NW in Walker — will continue to operate as Rylee’s Ace Hardware.

Mark VandenBerg, president of Great Lakes Ace Hardware, said his team is honored to “carry on the high standards that Lori, Todd and the entire Rylee’s employee family have set over the years.”

“Our company’s vision is to improve lives and communities and we do that by going above and beyond to serve our customers,” VandenBerg said. “In a time when customers have more options than ever before, this is the bedrock fueling our growth.”

Rylee’s employs a total of 85 full-and part-time employees. The transition to the new ownership should be complete by early March.

“It has been an incredible honor to serve the greater Grand Rapids area,” Todd Terprstra said. “We can’t thank our employees, customers and the community enough.”

Lori Terpstra said Great Lakes Ace Hardware “won us over on every level.”

“I can say with full confidence that they are the right choice to continue our 73-year tradition of serving our employees, customers and the community with unparalleled care,” she said.

Rylee’s history

John Rysdyk and Ed Leedy opened the original Rylee’s Ace Hardware at the corner of Fuller Avenue and Michigan Street in 1954, following the 1946 purchase of Firliks, which was located at the corner of Eastern Avenue and Michigan Street. They combined the names of Rysdyk and Leedy to create the name Rylee’s.

Lori Terpstra’s parents, Grace Rysdyk and John Rysdyk, operated the business from 1977 to 2000, with the Terpstras purchasing the original Michigan Street location in 2000.

Over the years, the couple expanded Rylee’s to a total of three locations. In 2002, they purchased the Walker store. In 2010, they moved the original store to 1234 Michigan Ave. NE. And in 2013, they built and opened a new 10,000-square-foot store at 1205 W. Fulton St.

Great Lakes' history

Great Lakes Ace Hardware was founded in 1946 as The Hardware Depot by the Traskos brothers of Dearborn. The company had grown to four locations by 1959, when it joined the Ace Hardware cooperative. In 1981, it had grown to 36 stores and left the Ace organization to operate independently under the name ACO Hardware. In 2014, the ACO board decided to reinvent the company, and it re-joined the Ace Hardware co-op under the banner of Great Lakes Ace Hardware.

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