Monday, March 22, 2021

Hardware Store Gets New Life near Fountain Springs

Businesses across the United States have been struggling through the pandemic but a remodeled hardware store with new owners is getting a new life near Fountain Springs.

Gene's Tires and Auto Parts along Route 61 near Fountain Springs has operated and served the community for decades but last year, the owners decided to retire and sell the business.   

Like many local businesses,  back in the day, it was a frequent stop for Butler Township residents who needed a quick part or tool without having to run to a chain store almost a half hour away.

Late in 2020, Cyndi Thurs, of Frackville, bought the store.

Thurs, working as a nurse through the pandemic, saw the store as a way to serve the community.

"It was always instilled in me to serve my community, and even though I've never owned a hardware store, I felt this was something I could learn and serve my community at the same time" said Thurs.

Since January 1st, 2021, Thurs remodeled the old business and brought in new items to sell and gave the store new life and a new name, Route 61 Hardware.

The hardware shop includes household items and tools  that would need for your home, yard, or garage.

Thurs is also using her new business to help other local businesses.  A "shop local" section of the store is dedicated local entrepreneurs to sell their products and make a profit.  The section includes products from businesses like Rust and Dust, K2 Wood Working, Cosmetic Decals and Apparel, Fresh Made on Pear Street, Avon, Aromatique, ZF Decals, and Scentsy.

This past Saturday morning, Route 61 Hardware held a soft opening where the community was invited to stop by and see what was new.

The event also included a food truck from Trish's Treats and the Ashland Girls Scouts.

The event brought in a constant stream of customers from the Butler Township, Ashland, and Frackville areas and as one customers stated, "We are thrilled to have our hardware store back!".

The business will be open 6 days a week going forward, Monday through Saturday, and customers should check the Route 61 Hardware Facebook page for hours.

An official grand opening for the store is planned for Memorial Day weekend.

Thurs' husband, Joe, also owns, Joe Thurs Automotive, that he has operated since early 2020 on Fireman's Road near Frackville.  The automotive repair shop will be moving next door to the garage  this Thursday.

The motivated couple is excited to serve the community after the months of hard work.

Photos and Stories by J. Reed

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