(Posted April 12, 2021)
By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer
When you find your calling in life, it feels like everything fits and makes sense. Perry Yoder, former owner of Yoder’s True Value Hardware in Plain City, found his perfect fit 40 years ago, and he dedicated his life to helping his customers solve their home repair challenges.
“I just like to show people how things fit together and work,” Yoder said. “This is not a place to shop. People come here because they have a need. More and more people are trying to do their own repair work at home, and I like to help them do that and be satisfied when they leave the store.”
On April 8, the Plain City community, Yoder’s friends and family, and former and current staff celebrated him with a proclamation honoring his lifetime of service in his business and to his community.
“Perry’s store was the epitome of small-town local business,” said Plain City Mayor Jody Carney. “You could walk in and ask him any question about a project, and he’d know the exact location of what you were looking for and help you if you weren’t sure what to do. I’d bring my kids into the store, and he always offered them balloons and interacted with them. We always felt very at home in his store.”
Though he plans on working fewer hours, Yoder will continue to do what he loves—helping customers at the hardware store which will be renamed Plain City Hardware. Along with the wide variety of products Yoder carried, new owner Richard Chene has introduced plants, new brands like Stihl, and will have a point-of-sale system.
Chene has worked in retail his entire career, and when the opportunity arose to buy the store, he was happy to carry on Yoder’s legacy of people first.
“Customers say, ‘Perry, can you help me with this?’, and 99 times out of a 100 they walk out with the problem solved. He wants to wait on and help people. He’s welcome here for as long as he likes,’” Chene said. “We will make some changes and evolve but stay a hometown hardware store.”