In 1918, Joe Boling and C. G. Bettis started a small country store, Boling & Bettis General Store, in Cumming, GA less than a half-mile north of the current store we call ‘Ace Hardware Midway.’ The business operated in a small, one-bedroom house before moving to a 1,800 sqft building in 1951, where they added gas pumps and a mill to make flour and cornmeal. In 1960, an additional 4,000 sqft was added to the store to make it the first "buggy pushing" supermarket in Forsyth County. It was a thriving country store for several years where residents could purchase groceries, hardware, building supplies, farm supplies, clothing, toys, and gas.
In 1979, the building supply portion of the business was sold off and became ‘Midway Building Supply.’ It was then that Ace Hardware Midway was born, ushering in the Ace Hardware era. Ace Hardware Midway moved on October 5th, 1984 to a new building at 4947 Hwy 9, a small engine shop was added in 1986, and other additions were made in succeeding years. In 1996 the Ace chain purchased Sibley-Roper Hardware at 2000 Canton Hwy. And then, in 1999 the company built a 24,000 sqft building at 4715 Hammond Industrial Drive to open a third store.
These three stores were the first of many purchased by the current owner, Darin Workman, and his partners in 2014. Just eight months later they purchased Ace Hardware Woodmont, an 18,000 sqft store in Canton, GA to add to their Georgia store portfolio. In 2016, Workman and his partners expanded their territory into the South Carolina market with the purchase of Ace Hardware Three Fountains in West Columbia, SC, a 12,000 sqft store with a large greenhouse. In 2018, they ventured out to Tennessee with the purchase of three stores near Nashville: Ace Hardware Donelson, Ace Hardware Springfield, and Ace Hardware White House.
With eight stores under its belt, the Ace Hardware chain was thriving and fast-growing, which led to the sale of the company in the Summer of 2019, and The Helpful Hardware Company, LLC was born. In July of 2020, The Helpful Hardware Co. continued its pursuit of store acquisitions and purchased Ace Hardware Duncan in Goose Creek, SC. This 12,000 sqft store was the first of many store purchases of the new company. Not even a year following the purchase of Duncan, Indian Trail Hardware was purchased and converted to Ace Hardware Indian Trail in May 2021. Brookstone Ace Hardware and Southern Home & Garden were acquired toward the end of 2021. Ace Hardware Cordova was acquired in April 2022 and Westbury's Ace Hardware joined the chain of stores in December 2022 , totaling 15 stores in the Southeastern chain.
Darin Workman, CEO is partnered with investment firm JPB Partners out of Hanover, MD. JPB Partners provides The Helpful Hardware Co. funding for growth and oversight with a Board of Directors. With their support, The Helpful Hardware Co. continues to seek opportunities for growth and expansion in the Southeast.
At The Helpful Hardware Co., we are extremely proud to be part of a tradition that dates back nearly 100 years. Today, we are stronger than ever. Our roots in the community are deep and our commitment to customer satisfaction is strong.
Meet The Helpful Hardware Team
Workman became the President and Partner of The Helpful Hardware Company in August 2014 after working for the Ace Hardware Corporation for 17 years serving in Operations, Project Management, IT, and Business Development. He is a 12-year veteran of the US Navy where he held many leadership positions. Workman has degrees in workforce training, education, and development from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in addition to a degree in technical management from the University of Phoenix and a degree in executive finance from Lake Forest University. He is also a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM).
Director of Retail Operations
Richey joined The Helpful Hardware Company in August 2021 as the Director of Retail Operations. Patrick was born and raised on a farm in Oklahoma where he became a schoolteacher and coached high school baseball for over 10 years. In 2000 he decided it was time to leave teaching and pursue a different path in sales and operations. Following his teaching career, Richey worked in various industries at the executive level from Vice President to Director roles. This career change prompted a move to Kennesaw, Georgia in 2005 where he currently resides with his wife of 31 years (Kerry) and his 3 amazing children (Bryce, Bre’, and Bo). During his spare time, Richey enjoys watching his kids play sports, working in his yard, exercising in his home gym, or, once in a blue moon, playing golf.
Director of Finance
Kreuzer joined The Helpful Hardware Company in January 2023 as the Director of Finance. As the DOF Jennifer overseas the accounting department and fiscal management for The Helpful Hardware Co. Prior to joining the helpful hardware family she worked in an advisory finance role where she obtained years of operational experience in both large and small business environments. In her free time Kreuzer enjoys exploring new places, outside enjoying the fresh air, and spending quality time with her family.
New Business Manager
Garrett joined the Helpful Hardware team in August 2017 and served as the District Manager overseeing the Tennessee stores up until he was promoted to New Business Manager. Prior to that, beginning in 1973, he worked with multiple Ace Hardware retail organizations in a variety of roles. He is married to his wife Betty of 37 years.
Born in Waukegan, IL and raised in Cumming, GA, Chelsea has been exposed to the hardware business from a young age. She was raised in The Helpful Hardware Company’s home base of Cumming, GA where she graduated from North Forsyth Highschool and went on to the join the United States Navy in 2014. During her 8 years of service Chelsea traveled to multiple countries, lived in various states, and gained lots of leadership and world experience. While serving the country Chelsea obtained her AS degree in Business Marketing (2018) and her BA in Business Marketing Analytics (2020) from Liberty University. Prior to coming on board with The Helpful Hardware Company (2021) Chelsea worked for Cisco as a Marketing Project Manager in the Integrated Marketing Department. In her free time Chelsea enjoys spending time with her two fur babies (Manny and Louis), exploring new places with her husband (Dylan), and experimenting with making craft espresso drinks in her home coffee bar!
Gina Workman (SHRM)
Employee Relations Manager
SHRM-CP certified in Human Resources Management, Workman manages all employee training and development, benefits administration, and oversight of outsourced HR functions. In addition to her employee responsibilities, she leads the company OSHA program. Workman served in the US Navy for 8 years in multiple leadership roles including Company Commander, Mid-Level Manager, and Oversight of Command Preventative Maintenance. She has an AA in Business from Excelsior College and is the former owner of Loving Hands Daycare. She is a mother to 4 children.
King joined The Helpful Hardware Company in 2016 and serves as our Sr. Controller. As a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in accounting, King received her CPA in 1997. She has worked in business management and non-profit management and owned her own business for several years prior to joining our team. A proud mother of two successful young adults, King is an active member of her community and church.
Born and raised in Forsyth County, McAllister has served as the AR Manager for The Helpful Hardware Company since August 2014 after working at Ace Hardware Woodmont for 3 years as the HR Manager and Administrative Assistant. She achieved an associate degree in business from Lanier Technical College. McAllister has been married to her husband, Jeff, for 34 years and they have 2 children together.
District Manager - Tennessee
Before joining the Helpful Hardware team in March of 2019, Edmondson, born and raised in Mt Juliet, TN, has worked in various customer service, application/platform support, and management roles for a global advisory, broking, and solutions firm headquartered in Nashville, TN. While growing up, Edmondson helped family and neighbors with home repairs, additions, remodels, and new home construction. ACE was his “go-to” store for everything he needed to get the job done. Edmondson and his wife of 9 years, Tracie, have 4 children and 3 grandchildren. They enjoy riding on their motorcycle and remodeling and updating their home.
District Manager - Georgia
Brian joined The Helpful Hardware Company family in 2016 as the Store Manager of Ace Hardware Woodmont where he drove success for 6 years prior to being promoted to District Manager of the North Georgia district in October 2022. Prior to joining the team Brian led a successful career with Home Depot for 10 years, working in multiple different departments and learning the hardware business inside and out. In his free time Brian enjoys spending time with his wife and two amazing kids, attending his children’s sporting events, finding a good car show, and grilling for the family.
District Manager - North Carolina & South Carolina
Prior to joining The Helpful Hardware Company, Mr. Franklin served as Vice President of Operations For the Main Street District for over 10 years helping grow the downtown area of Columbia,SC and managing a large staff of city employees. Mr. Franklin served also as a Field Consultant for 7-Eleven stores. He oversaw a group of 10 stores with $10-20 million in revenue. He monitored all aspects of store operations, including coaching and assistance to store management; promoting efficiency to maximize store profitability; and ensuring key processes were in place through store visits, store and staff evaluations, and data analysis. Mr. Franklin graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a minor in engineering, and he is a former basketball player for the USC Gamecocks. He is Married to Jenny for over 25 years, and father to 5 daughters and 2 sons and in his spare time enjoys golf and hunting with his 2 German shorthaired pointers, Rocky and Diesel.