A stranger could ask Mike Rogers to reveal his family’s secret.
How has the Rogers’ family business – Rogers & Rogers Ace Hardware - survived 65 years, making it possibly Rockwall’s oldest family-owned and operated business?
Rogers could answer that there’s no secret. It’s no secret because his loyal customers know the answer and it’s one reason they keep coming back to the store at 1013 S. Goliad St. in Rockwall.
“Customer service,” Rogers said. “Good customer service.”
The store was built on providing quality customer service, Rogers said, and he has tried to make sure there continues to be a focus on every customer who walks through the front door.
The store must have the merchandise to meet the customer’s needs, he said, but it all begins with customer service.
Rogers said he wants to make sure that every customer is greeted and offered assistance within three minutes after entering the store. Instead of minutes, he said, that greeting and offer usually comes within seconds.
Rogers, his manager Robert Cindrich and other store employees are on a first-name basis with most customers. And Rogers has a nickname for many, pointing to “Old Timer” who is standing at the store’s front counter.
To celebrate the store’s 65th year, there will be an anniversary celebration at the store Saturday and Sunday.
Wayne Rogers, Mike’s father, was an International Harvester dealer in Winter and wanted to start his own business. A friend was in the National Guard with Ralph Hall and heard that the Western Auto store in Rockwall was for sale. On Sept. 3, 1951, the store was opened for business.
Mike Rogers joined his father in the business in the late 1960s. According to a newspaper story published 25 years ago, son Mike said he couldn’t remember exactly when he started working at the hardware store because, “I was always working here, even as a kid. I knew I’d be in this business.”
The business originally was a Western Auto store, with Ace being added in January of 1972. In 1974, the store stopped carrying the Western Auto name and became solely Rogers and Rogers Ace Hardware.
Wayne died in 2011. His wife, Wanda, still lives in Rockwall and came to the store on a recent Saturday for a “family portrait.” Featured in the picture were Wanda Rogers; Mike and wife, Rella; son, Ari Rogers; store manager Robert Cindrich; and Tesa, their border collie and Brittany spaniel mix that works in public relations and security.
Jim Hardin may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.