Oxford hardware store has new owners, new name

Owners of the former Ace Hardware have sold the store to E&H Hardware Group, who took ownership last weekend.

Jeff and Debbie MacDonald opened the store Oct. 8, 1985, which was a double-special day for them.

“I gave her a key and said, ‘Happy Birthday,’ ” Jeff MacDonald said with a laugh. “Some have said we knew nothing about hardware operation or retail operation. That was true.”

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The former Ace Hardware survived in part by being the local, hometown store and in part by offering higher-quality product lines so as to not be in direct competition with a Walmart store located right behind it.

In the past 32 years, they have been a mainstay in the business community, honored as “Business of the Year” by the Chamber of Commerce and recognized as “Couple of the Years” by the Citizens of the Year selection committee last December.

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Their last official day in charge was July 8, a day proclaimed by Oxford Mayor Kate Rousmaniere as “Jeff and Debbie MacDonald Day.”

The city proclamation also noted the MacDonalds successful 2012 stint as co-chairs of the Oxford United Way campaign, which saw a record amount raised.

Even though they are retiring from the daily operation of the local store, they will remain, part-time, to ease the transition. All the employees have been retained so familiar faces were still in place when the store reopened Monday, July 10, as E&H Ace Hardware.

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