Countless repairs and home-remodeling projects can undoubtedly trace their lineage back to Paul's Ace Hardware, which began doling out DIY equipment and home-improvement supplies in 1956. Founded by Paul E. Dauwalder, the shop quickly expanded from its original 1,800-square-foot space, branching out to five shops that now operate beneath the expert eye of Paul's granddaughter. Cleaning products, outdoor equipment, and pool supplies are just a fragment of the stores' inventory, with power tools awaiting steady hands, fishing gear beckoning lake dwellers, and building materials—including the Tempe location's 56,000 square feet of lumber—standing poised and ready to be assembled into dams by handy beavers. Still in the city of its founding, the Scottsdale location has moved and upgraded to its own building.
Since 1977, Davey Jones Fireworks Superstore has made the night sky sparkle for festive celebrations of independence, freedom, and minor explosions. Customers can peruse a huge selection that includes smoke devices, and smaller-scale crackers include sparklers and hand fountains for backyard displays.
When the weather gets chilly, the shop pulls out its seasonal products to help fireworks enthusiasts celebrate the winter holidays. Christmas trees and accessories add a touch of merriment to indoor and outdoor displays with colors and sparkling lights that match the dazzle of a well-timed firecracker.
The roots of Kerby’s Furniture stretch back to 1959, when Rex and Ruth Kerby founded the store to bring together bedroom and dining-room sets, mattresses, and other home essentials. Today, staffers dispense advice to shoppers in a showroom flush with beds, couches, and tables by brands such as Ashley, Broyhill, and Best Home Furnishings. Browsers can compare the cushiness of the Hanway chair, a foldout sleeper sofa dressed in subtle olive pinstripes, with the Joplin, a salmon swivel rocker with a reversible T-cushion seat. Youth bedroom sets come in mouth-watering finishes such as cream, espresso, and walnut, and mattresses by Simmons and Corsicana summon more z’s than a honeybee’s typewriter.
Furniture Plus began in 1983 as a tiny furniture shop in a rented house with an outdoor concrete slab for a show room, and has since grown into a 20,000-square-foot space, brimming with pieces from popular brands such as Ashley Furniture, Robert Michael, and aspenhome. Though it would have been easier to move the store into a shopping center, the owners chose to remain in their own facility in order to maintain a low overhead—and therefore, lower prices—on the same furniture carried by big-box stores and traveling furniture salesmen.