What drives you?
Allen Speller: The ultimate goal is to build up the whole area (north of the Cedar River.)
Wendell Speller: I’ve been (in Waterloo) since ’59 or ’60, and when the opportunity came to open this business, it was never a question of where.
What was your biggest accomplishment in 2017?
Wendell: Surviving the summer. They tore up East Fourth Street on us. But people were still coming. They had to drive through alleys to get here. We’re getting back on track now and ready for spring.
What are your goals for 2018?
Allen: We are hoping for a stronger spring and summer. Our customers told us they wanted an outdoor area, so we’ll be working on that, getting garden supplies and flowers.
Wendell: Online is something we’re really pushing. People can buy online and get it shipped to the store.
What makes the Cedar Valley a great place to do business?
Allen: The support of the community. Growing up here you tend to know everybody. People want you to succeed.
Wendell: The customer base is just unbelievable. They are down to earth and very supportive. At the beginning we could tell it was going to be more than a hardware store. It’s a building block for the community.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to others?
Allen: Rally up. Get other people involved. Ask a ton of questions. We talked to other business owners and the mayor. In our first meeting with (Mayor Quentin Hart) I didn’t shut up for 20 minutes.
Wendell: Don’t be shy. Step up and go for it. You didn’t know how to walk once, either.