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Plaza fills and some come back home

October 23, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

The new Canfield Ace Hardware store is set to open at the end of the month. It will not only fill a need in the area, but will also fill the Colonial Plaza and bring a Canfield grad back home.

"We saw a need for a good hardware store in the area," said owner Ron Graff Sr. "We felt there was a big need for this type of store."

He said a study was done by Ace and it was determined the City of Canfield and Colonial Plaza was a great location.

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Owners of the new Canfield Ace Hardware Store are pleased to be filling a need with their new store in the Colonial Plaza. Pictured are Ron Graff Sr., Ron Graff Jr., Cheryl Graff Shartle, and Bob Graff.

As for owning such a store, the Graff family is well versed in business operations. The owners of the new store will be Ron Sr., Ron Graff Jr., Cheryl Graff Shartle, and Bob Graff.

According to Ron Sr., the family opened their first store in Columbiana in 1978. It was a Super Duper grocery store they sold in 1986. They also operated a Super Duper in downtown East Liverpool that opened in 1980 and was switched to a Giant Eagle store in 1986.

The family continued to grow and in 1986 bought out an old Kroger store in Calcutta and reopened it as a Giant Eagle. Another Giant Eagle was added in 1989 in Liberty, on Belmont Avenue, which was upgraded with a new store in 1999. In 2017, the family turned to hardware and opened their first Ace store in Calcutta.

Ron Sr. knew the area very well. He lived in Boardman for 19 years, then 20 years ago moved to Canfield. In those 20 years he noticed the former Sparkle Market in the Colonial Plaza remained empty and felt it was time to fill a need and bring an Ace to the plaza.

To help run the store, the family brought in Glen Marrie who was assistant manager at the Liberty Giant Eagle for 27 years. He will serve as manager.

Assisting Marrie will be Dave Felger, who knows Canfield very well. Felger is a 1978 Canfield High School graduate who left the area and moved to Hawaii for many years. He ran a general store there, but jumped at the opportunity to come back home to Canfield. He said it has been like a big reunion with all his old friends welcoming him back.

Ron Sr. said the plan is to officially open at the end of October. While not confirmed, the opening date was tentatively set for Oct. 31.

With the Ace hardware set to open, the Colonial Plaza will be filled for the first time in over 20 years. That fact has Canfield Mayor Richard Duffett very pleased.

The filling up of the plaza takes Duffett way back to his younger days when the plaza was completely full. During those days, back in the 1960's and 70's, he said he would ride his bike over to the Colonial Plaza where he would go to the Ben Franklins to buy candy. and then go bowling at the Colonial Lanes which was located where the Giant Eagle is now.

"I am ecstatic that the old Colonial Plaza is finally full again," Mayor Duffett said. "This City Council-City Manager Team has been encouraging small businesses to come to Canfield since we have been elected. I do believe our team has been very pro-active and diligent in placing a strong emphasis on the small business community in and for Canfield. We have started a Mayor's Business Forum to start strengthening our relationships, for a strong tomorrow, with our existing Canfield businesses and we are listening to their advice on seeking the right mix of businesses to add to Canfield to make us a more vibrant business and entertainment community. We feel we are just getting started and expect the business community to continue to grow, and we have many exciting things coming for 'Canfield, The City That Cares.'"

 
 

 

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