HOUGHTON - A visit to a downtown Houghton landmark, the Swift True Value Hardware store reveals recent changes - fresh paint, new displays, expanded inventory and new Sunday hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The same I.E. Swift Company that has served the Upper Peninsula since 1869, the store now has a different family member at the helm. After 30 years of successfully managing the store, Jack Swift retired Sept. 30, 2011. He was the fourth generation of the Swift family to operate the business. As a Certified Public Accountant, his attention to detail and keen interest in technology were hallmarks of his long tenure.
Jack's sister Marilyn, owner of Marilyn's Stained Glass, succeeds Jack as manager of one of the oldest family-owned, continuously operating businesses in Michigan.
A display of Westinghouse pendant lighting in a variety of stylish glass and new fixtures at Swift True Value Hardware in Houghton.
Marilyn is applying her incredible drive to bring Swift Hardware in tune with the information age.
Be sure to check out Swift's Facebook page and its new website swifttruevaluehardware.com. Swift's is once again back in True Value flyers, featuring the Bargains of the Month!
In addition to a fresh coat of paint and improved lighting, upgrades to the store include the addition of a new, state-of-the-art paint system with one of the most advanced computer color-matching systems in the Keweenaw. Swift's also carries the high quality line of Sikken's stains and finishes. There is a greatly expanded fasteners section, which provides customers one of the most complete supplies of nuts, bolts, screws and specialty fasteners.
Inventory further includes some items new to the area, such as Bona hardwood floor care products, Westinghouse pendant lighting, Generac generators and a line of battery back-up sump pumps. Makita power tools are in stock for the do-it-yourselfer as well as the tradesman. Professional plumbers and do-it-yourselfers will find a greatly expanded line of PEX plumbing fixtures, tubing, manifolds and tools.
On top of that, Swift's welding supply center expanded and now stocks parts and accessories for pressure washers and air compressors.
Swift's goes above and beyond to meet any special order requirement in a timely manner, which saves on shipping charges and delays.
In addition, Swift Hardware carries unique items customers may not expect to find, such as kicksleds, designer duct tape and colorful Adirondack chairs, which are made in the U.S.A out of 100 percent recycled materials.
Next time customers are in the downtown area, they should stop by for a cup of coffee, as Swift Hardware carries a full line of Kuerig coffee makers and Kuerig special blend coffees.
While there are many new items to see at Swift Hardware, the familiar services continue. Swift's will cut keys, thread and cut pipe, custom cut glass and Plexiglas, as well as repair windows and screens.
The Michigan Technological University community continues to have a nearby source for affordable paper goods, cleaning, and household maintenance items, including Houghton City garbage bags. Swift's is still the leading retailer for Milwaukee power tools and Radio Flyer wagons and tricycles.
In a return to a long time Copper Country tradition, Swift's is reintroducing Breyer Horses, a favorite collectible for several decades.
With all these changes, Swift Hardware is staying true to Jack and Marilyn's father Paul W. Swift's and grandfather Paul D. Swift's vision for the store.
"I am very excited to be starting this second career and I hope that my father would have been proud," Marilyn said. "We take pride in providing Houghton and the local area with a traditional full-service, hometown hardware store, where you can still benefit from individual attention from knowledgeable hardware experts."
Stop by and say hello to Marilyn, the familiar faces of Clyde and Vicky, who have been with the store for many years, and the new faces of Ken and John, as they continue to serve Houghton and the Copper Country.
Starting May 1, Swift's extended store hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Call 482-0530 or visit swifttruevaluehardware.com.