St. Peters Hardware & Rental has been recognized as the July 2021 Small Business of the Month by the RiverBend Growth Association. Serving customers for nearly 75 years, they are located at 2502 State St. in Alton, with the intersection split of State and Belle streets nearby.
Virgil and Don St. Peters bought the former Bezdec Hardware & Electric in 1947, with hopes of starting their own business that would serve their community well in the once-again growing Alton area. The original building, a 19- by 33-foot structure, eventually found itself busting at its structural seams by the time of its complete remodel in March 2012.
The store today is over 17,000 square feet and offers well over 30,000 items to its customers, along with full-service rental options. Their rental services have also expanded into the Edwardsville market. In recent years, both locations have become certified Stihl dealers as well, also allowing them to provide certified Stihl mechanic services to their customers.
Updates to their paint department allowed St. Peters Hardware to become a destination paint store, with a new modernized look that adds a special “wow” factor inside when a customer enters. Outside, there is a newer, more modern LED sign to complement the overall wow factor as well.
Through all its evolution, St. Peters Hardware has remained a family-owned business, with second- and third-generation owners Dale, Doug, and Dan St. Peters now at the helm of this independently owned True Value location.
“We are most proud of being a small business that has lasted four generations,” Dan St. Peters shared. “This means we have not only helped our family grow but our community as well. We make sure we are involved with our community and help them grow with us.”
And while nearly everyone understands what a local hardware store has to offer, St. Peters Hardware & Rental offers some things that might not be as expected.
Among their unique service offerings are sharpening of knife and mower blades. and chain saws. They also provide glass, plexiglass, and screen cutting; key cutting and lock rekeying, pipe cutting and threading, paint color matching and mixing, propane refilling, and even lamp repair. Product assembly and delivery options are also offered, as well as special orders and gift cards.
And while many of the products they carry might also be expected, St. Peters Hardware also carries the unexpected, such as holiday decorations, pet food and supplies, cleaning products, greeting cards, home décor, house plants, and so much more.
On the rental side, they have a wide array of large and small equipment available, residential or industrial, for whether a customer needs to dig a trench, plant a post, harvest their plantings, clean their carpets, or host an event of just about any size. In fact, their large-capacity tents, table services, folding chairs, and even more, have been a part of many memorable occasions throughout the Riverbend for many years now.
“One big project we are proud of is providing the necessary party equipment to the city of Alton’s Amphitheater Committee that brings entertainment acts like Nelly and the Beach Boys to the Alton stage,” St. Peters noted.
Giving back to the community is an important part of what being a family-owned, community-focused business is all about. “One big event that we sponsor every year is the RBGA Duck Race. We help sponsor the SIEA Annual Dinner and Golf Outing. And through our partnership with the True Value Company, we have donated over 40 gallons of paint to the Boys & Girls Club of Alton. We also sponsor the RBGA Young Adults Committee Raffle as well as its Community Raffle,” said St. Peters.
The True Value Foundation hosts a Youth Up matching gift program, which further allows St. Peters Hardware the chance to partner with other retailers, expanding the reach of donations received and further helping kids toward the achievement of their full potential.
The charitable spirit of the business continues through its employees, with many of its team members volunteering with local organizations including Hope Rescues, Rotary, Knights of Columbus, Eagles, East End Improvement Association, Hayner Public Library, St. Ambrose Parents Foundation, North Alton Business Council, American Rental Association, and of course, the RiverBend Growth Association.
“One of our team members also volunteers as a soccer coach for Alton Parks and Recreation and as a baseball coach for Godfrey Parks and Recreation,” St. Peters further noted.
Manager Ellen St. Peters Bennett said, “We all wear so many hats here at St. Peters, and we are always happy to serve the greater Riverbend community. It makes us very proud to be a part of the lives and livelihoods of our customers, the local community, and of our regional residents.”
“Shopping local keeps the money in our local community, in the local economy,” Bennett added. “And that’s one of the beneficial things about being a part of the RiverBend Growth Association. As member businesses, we can pool our resources and collectively help the economy grow and thrive. That’s good for everyone.”
Regarding their RiverBend Growth Association Small Business of the Month Award designation, Bennett shared, “We are just so thankful and appreciative of the growth association as a whole, what they do for the area, and for our business community. They do amazing things all throughout the Riverbend.”
For more information about St. Peters Hardware & Rental, call (618) 466-6931 or visit them at truevaluerental-il.com.
The RBGA’s Small Business of the Month Committee recognizes a member business each month for its outstanding efforts and leadership in the community. To learn more about membership in the RiverBend Growth Association and its Small Business of the Month recognition, visit the RBGA website or call their Godfrey office.
The RiverBend Growth Association is the chamber of commerce and economic development organization for the 11 communities known as the Riverbend. For more information about the growth association, visit www.growthassociation.com or call (618) 467-2280.
This article was prepared for the RiverBend Growth Association by Melissa Meske Publications, macmeske.com.