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Saunders still going strong after 50 years at ACE Hardware

Posted 3/21/24

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Joan Saunders originally wanted to be a cop, but her parents were concerned about that line of work. That was 1973. So, she got a part-time job at the local hardware store. …

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Saunders still going strong after 50 years at ACE Hardware


Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Joan Saunders originally wanted to be a cop, but her parents were concerned about that line of work. That was 1973.

So, she got a part-time job at the local hardware store.

Fifty years later, she’s still helping customers pick the proper paint finishes, distinguish the difference between standard and metric bolts and determine the proper season to plant daisies at the Hagan ACE Hardware.

“It doesn’t seem like 50 years,” she said. “I’m doing what I like to do. I’ve got a good group of people I like working with. This is my family.”

“I started working part-time, and the doors kept opening up for me. I enjoyed helping people, so I kept moving up from there.”

Joan started at Brown and Cartwright ACE Hardware at the corners of Orange Avenue and Center Street, now the home of Vallencourt Construction Company. She eventually became the store manager and maintained that role when the store relocated to the Magnolia Layne Shopping Center on Orange Avenue in 2016.

She’s been a manager for so long that she can only estimate the time between “30 to 35 years.”

And there’s no thought of leaving.

“I don’t think about retiring,” she said. “Besides, I would get bored at home. I have to be doing stuff.”

During the organization’s monthly managers meeting, store owner Bill Hagan presented Joan with a golden hammer to commemorate her half-century of service.

“I have some medical issues, so the busier I am, the better off I am,” she said. “Being here is a good distraction.”

ACE is known for greeting customers and providing immediate service.

“We are a fun bunch of people, and we will take care of you,” Joan said.