When you dig a little into the history of the Greater Houston Ace Hardware group and their affiliation with GardenLine, it all starts with Bill and Susan Murff and their ownership of Cypress Ace Hardware & Feed on Jones Road.
Anyone who knows the Murffs will agree that they are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. Others will contend that they are two of the most helpful. And I think they are the most giving couple I know.
Many on the northwest side of town are impressed with the awesome size and outstanding customer service at Cypress Ace Hardware & Feed, but they may not have a clue about its genuinely humble beginnings. It wouldn’t be in existence today had Bill and Susan not taken a chance in 1991 and moved to Houston to manage an Ace Hardware store. They had been managing M&D Supply in Beaumont, where they fell in love with the business. In 1996, they had an opportunity to buy the Ace store. So, thanks to every ounce of the Murff’s savings, that little hardware store on Jones Road became Cypress Ace Hardware and Feed – now famous for always having a fully supply of doohickies!
As their operation grew, the Murff family focused just as much on philanthropy as the business. Through balloon sales, popcorn donations, fundraisers, “Grill Your Ace Off” barbecue cook-offs and other events, Cypress Ace Hardware & Feed has contributed thousands of dollars annually to the Children’s Miracle Network, with 100 percent of the money staying local and going to Texas Children’s Hospital.
In 2013, the Murffs expanded Cypress Ace, adding another 12,000 square feet to enlarge their feed, animal health, and gift departments. An added fudge bar produces homemade treats daily, and an indoor grilling department features a full kitchen. If you ever want to test-drive a grill before buying it, swing by Cypress Ace Hardware with a steak, and they will light one up for you!
I often refer GardenLine listeners to their nearest Ace Hardware store to have an issue resolved. That’s because, even before the Greater Houston Ace Retailer Group existed, stores like Cypress Ace Hardware & Feed have always had a great relationship with Nitro-Phos.
Bill and Susan’s children, Amanda and Jason, grew up in the store and were often found playing with PVC fittings instead of Legos. Over the years, they watched closely as their parents gave everything they had to help the business grow. And that helped shape them into the successful adults they are today. After serving in the Army, Jason went on to open his own business in the seasoning industry, and Amanda works in public relations. Still, however, they both continue to be active in the store.
Amanda and her husband, George, have four children - Hailey, Henry, Harrison and Harper. Henry is a patient at Texas Children’s Hospital, and it wasn’t until he became ill that the family saw exactly how their contributions to the Children’s Miracle Network have an impact. It came full circle for them, and further ramped up their fundraising efforts. In 2018 they were named the nation’s number one Ace Hardware store in fundraising for their local Children’s Miracle Network hospital, donating $90,854 to Texas Children’s!
With over 60 helpful associates on their team, this local mom-and-pop shop continues to live by its “Work Hard, Give Big” motto. Bill and Susan are driven on customer service, community and philanthropy. They are grateful for their staff, and say they are humbled by the generosity of the community.
I hope you now understand why I praise local ownership and “mom-and-pop” stores who strive to keep money in the community. And I hope you’ll visit any of the Greater Houston Ace Retailers, because you’ll add to the success and philanthropy of great owners like Bill and Susan Murff.