Walking the aisles

Fuller’s Home & Hardware: Unique among purveyors of home improvement
Fuller’s Home & Hardware: Upscale cookware? Yes. Cookie-cutter approach? No.
Bob Joush demonstrates one of the store’s best-selling grills.
On The Second Floor at Fuller’s, a display of coasters invites exploration.
Andrew (left) and Luke Fuller Goss, work the desk.
At Dips and Dogs, the daily special sells for $5.99. A school across the street provides a steady flow of customers.
Slate roof and brick walls set the tone for the shopping experience.
The Second Floor is described as “the hardware store for cooks and more.”
Fuller’s pushes the upscale envelope with its housewares offering.

A first-time visitor to Fuller’s Home & Hardware might need a few minutes to take it all in. But then, he might spend the better part of an afternoon exploring the offerings.

The family owned and operated Ace dealer in Hinsdale, Ill., has carved a memorable niche in this Chicago suburb with a two-story approach to home improvement. On the ground floor is the classic hardware store. Upstairs is the upscale “The Second Floor,” described as “the hardware store for cooks and more.” In his online note to customers, owner Doug Fuller describes the upstairs wares as “the most beautiful tableware gifts and kitchen goods.” A demonstration kitchen is part of the attraction.

The Fuller family took over the building from a more conventional hardware store in 2003. “We revamped the whole store — a nine-month process that completely changed the inside,” said Luke Fuller Goss.

Adding to the adventure, the Fullers converted an adjacent gas station into their extremely kid-friendly Dips and Dogs restaurant.

“Fuller’s has created a unique business with a lot of housewares and unique offerings,” said John Surane, Ace’s VP merchandising. “It’s anything but cookie cutter.” 

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