Ace Hardware has been a staple in the Broken Bow community for decades and it will continue into 2022, but under new ownership. On November 17, 2021 Joe and Liz Franssen decided they would try their hand in a brand new industry.
“It’s just one of those things that kind of happened. I’ve been on a lot of boards since I have moved to Broken Bow and met some smart people and learned some things. One day I just walked in and asked Rod (Pracht) if he would sell [ACE] to me. At the end of the day my wife and I teamed up with Custer Federal State Bank and here we are,” said Joe.
Beginning as high school sweethearts from Arnold, Joe and Liz are very familiar to the area. Joe started his career in 2005 with Great Plains in Arnold before moving to North Bend and in 2012 to Broken Bow. Liz had been a dental hygienist in Ravenna before taking her career to Merna and Jordan Dental Clinic. Now with two kids, 8-year-old Ryan and 5-year-old Tiffany, owning Ace has become a family affair.
Joe said his wife helps out at Ace on Fridays when she is not in Merna and both kids enjoy helping customers carry bags to their cars, hold open doors, and spending time in the store when not in school. He remarked that the community has been extremely supportive and he hopes he can continue to give back to the community and keep the area sustainable.
Joe said, “We fell in love with the community. We didn’t want to leave, we didn’t want to move we wanted to stay here and raise our kids here. This was a way we could invest in the community to keep things sustainable and to keep going forward. We appreciate the community support.”
While the corporation name will change from Pracht’s Ace Hardware to RTAce, many services that Rod and his wife Beth have provided for the past 27 years will continue to be available. Joe noted the paint selection and Milwaukee tools are some of the best around and he has no intention of changing it. While shipping products to the store continues to be a problem for many businesses, including Ace, Joe said he is working to find different products at the Ace warehouse to feature in the Broken Bow store.
For more details about the services and products that are provided at Ace, contact the store at (308) 872-2449 or stop by and talk with the knowledgeable staff at 747 S. C St.
To help serve more customers, Ace will be extending their hours starting February 1. Beginning next month the store will be open 7:30 AM-6 PM Monday through Friday, and 8 AM-4 PM on Saturday.