There was a lot of excitement last month when it was announced that hardware stores were returning to Cottage Grove Road on Madison’s East Side and to a mall in Cross Plains.
But a hardware store in Middleton has also made a big change that gives the business greater visibility and 10 times more space from its old location.
The Middleton Farmers Cooperative has moved its Do It Best hardware operation from its 2,200 square foot space next to its convenience store on Pleasant View Road and into an adjacent 22,000 square foot property that for years housed Fish Building Supply. More recently it was home to a Builders First Source business, which last summer consolidated its operations at its facilities south of Cottage Grove Road and just east of Stoughton Road.
The co-op, which already owned seven acres, purchased the 14-acre property at the intersection of Pleasant View Road and Highway 14 last summer and spent several months preparing the building for its new use. The store opened on February 7 and still needs new lighting, exterior paint and better signage, but has allowed the store to showcase all of its offerings in one space instead of stocking most in other buildings.
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The new store also offers ample space for rental equipment such as skid steer loaders, augers, tillers, tile cutters and saws. A gated area outside the building means larger equipment, such as wood chippers and possibly elevators, can be safely stored but seen from the road by passing motorists.
“We spent a lot of time running between three storage buildings, but now everyone sees a full picture of what’s going on here,” said store manager Tim Stelpflug. “It turned out as well as anyone could have imagined.”
The company is an agricultural supply cooperative that was started in 1928 in Middleton by agricultural producers, but no membership is required to shop at the store. With annual revenues of about $29 million, sales consist primarily of petroleum products, animal feed, and hardware and confectionery, according to its website. The co-op supplies more than 120 commercial landscaping businesses, but also sells bulk mulch, landscaping stone, paver base and other landscaping materials from an enclosed yard just outside. east of the building.
The co-op has a convenience store in downtown Middleton, but the new hardware store has shelves of grass seed, bins of seed potatoes and onions, pallets of dog and cat food and aisles filled hand and garden tools, agricultural implements, rows of wheelbarrows and seed spreaders, ladders, bags of cement and cans of oils and lubricants.
A grand opening celebration is tentatively scheduled for July.
“We have become more efficient and we have room to grow,” Stelpflug said. “There’s not much you can do with 2,200 square feet.”
Upcoming free e-bike rides
For those curious about e-bikes, there will be three days later this month where rides will be free.
Bosch eBike Systems, a division of the Bosch Group, has partnered with BCycle to provide free access to e-bike sharing in eight cities nationwide, including Madison on Earth Day, April 22-24. The effort is being made to raise awareness of e-bikes as a “sustainable, fun, and safe form of transportation,” with the ultimate goal of reducing the country’s carbon output.
“Earth Day is an important reminder of how we need to be more aware of our impact on the environment,” Claudia Wasko, vice president of Bosch eBike Systems Americas, said in a press release. “Mobility accounts for more than a fifth of all CO2 emissions globally, and riding an (e-bike) is an amazing way to help reduce that amount.”
The free pass can be accessed by downloading and using the BCycle app by selecting “Bosch Earth Day Pass”, which grants cyclists unlimited 60-minute rides. For rides longer than 60 minutes, riders will accrue the same usage fees that would otherwise be applied in their local BCycle system. Madison is home to more than 50 BCycle stations, nine of which were added in 2021. Eight more will be added this year, according to Helen Bradley, general manager of Madison BCycle.
“Our goal this year and for the next few years to come is to continue to meet people where they are and expand access to BCycle with new stations and more e-bikes, creating a program for sharing more regional bikes,” Bradley said last month. . “By creating a broader bike-share program, we can help drive greater impact with greater reach as a viable public transportation option people rely on every day,” Bradley added.
Duluth Trading Co. expands
A Mount Horeb-based Duluth Trading Co. clothing brand that consisted primarily of cold weather products is expanding to more seasons and getting a new name.
Alaskan Hardgear is now AKHG and will offer an expanded product line in an effort to take advantage of increased outdoor activities like hiking, camping and fishing, according to the company.
The new AKHG line will include a women’s collection for the first time and will offer more sizes up to 4X. Offerings include the Crosshaul collection, which is three times more abrasion resistant than regular cotton and allows for better movement and shape recovery thanks to its 2% spandex.
The Renew Bamboo collection features short-sleeve shirts and similar styles made with bamboo in a rayon fabric that’s blended with recycled polyester and spandex to enhance moisture wicking and blocking power. sun, while AKGH’s Olympic Coast Rain Suit is built to withstand high winds and rain. .
Another line, the Perfection Loop fishing shirts, named after a fly-fishing knot, are made with a lightweight, loose-fitting nylon blend and are described as “sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and snag-resistant.” The shirts feature six pockets, adjustable cuffs, convertible sleeves, and a hook and loop that holds a fishing rod in place so two hands can be used to tie a tippet or new fly or retrieve a trout from a fishing rod. a hook. .
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