Though Ace Hardware, first established in 1924, has evolved from its humble roots into a global network of more than 4,600 storefronts, the franchise manages to maintain a neighborhood vibe. Of course, it helps that local business people run each independently owned store. Area residents Jason Melcher and John Niederaue man the counters of Brandon Ace Hardware, where they offer a full inventory of tools and appliances from manufacturers such as Black & Decker, Craftsman, Scotts, and Weber. It’s no wonder do-it-yourselfers flock to the store for home-project essentials, whether they’re refurbishing a bathroom, maintaining a small backyard garden, or exorcising stuffed animals. In addition to dealing at-home equipment, the Brandon store also offers a variety of more specialized services, including small-engine repair, paint-color matching, and glass cutting.