Community Press Release – Redbud Hardware & J.KRU Sweets

New Owners of Redbud Hardware – The Krueger Family, Photo by Caryn DeFreez Photography

Redbud Hardware Transitions to New Ownership

Written by Stacey Martin, Blogger and Podcast Host of The Folks Back Home
Buchanan, MI – February 06, 2022

Read the Original Blogpost HERE

According to Dave and Tracy Dippo, “Every small town needs a good hardware store.” This belief was the driving force behind their decision twenty years ago to reopen a hardware store in downtown Buchanan previously closed and liquidated two years earlier. As Tracy remembers, “We took a deep breath, rolled up our sleeves, reset the store with lots of help from friends and family, and opened the doors in October 2002.”

Dave and Tracy Dippo, Photos from The Folks Back Home blogpost

The community rallied behind Redbud Hardware from the beginning and visitors soon became regulars, charmed by friendly faces behind the counter and helpful advice in every aisle. In the early years, Redbud Hardware was the only retail store on Front Street with other storefronts either abandoned entirely or occupied by salons and bars. As Tracy recalls, “The odds were really against us and then a Lowe’s opened in Niles and a serious recession hit – yet somehow we survived and eventually built a good business and are proud to still be standing.”  The Dippos credit their success to a solid group of loyal customers who truly value shopping local and go out of their way to do so, even with other options available in big-box retail establishments. 

Over the course of 20 years, tight bonds formed between the Dippos and their staff, downtown business owners, and the wider community. In that same time, they witnessed the growth and transformation of Buchanan’s downtown district into a beautiful, vibrant area full of life and promise for the future. In thinking about their own future, Dave and Tracy felt it was time to pass the torch to the next generation and are happy to announce the pending transition of ownership of Redbud Hardware to another local family – Joe and Jen Krueger. 

As Buchanan residents, the Kruegers see this opportunity as a way to invest in their community. According to Joe, “Over the last few years, our thoughts kept leaning toward keeping our ‘talents’ within Buchanan and we’ve had our eyes and ears open for such an opportunity. On a recent episode of The Folks Back Home podcast featuring Dave and Tracy Dippo, they mentioned they were contemplating retirement and looking for the right owners to take over the business.” This episode prompted the Kruegers to contact the Dippos, and a plan soon formed to purchase the business. In a fun twist of fate, the Kruegers are the same ages Dave and Tracy were when they started the hardware store – carrying on the dream of a family-owned and operated business. 

Jen and Joe Krueger with Dave and Tracy Dippo, Photos from The Folks Back Home blogpost

Joe Krueger is currently an Assistant Vice President on the Executive Team at Aunt Millie’s where he’s served for the last thirteen years. Jen Krueger is a former elementary school teacher who’s spent the last seven years as a stay-at-home mom and small business owner of J.KRU Sweets, a home-based candy store and town favorite for events and special orders. The Kruegers look forward to carrying on the tradition of the hometown hardware store founded by the Dippos, with a continued emphasis on personalized service and a wide range of products to serve the community. “We are extremely excited to see the growth of the downtown with so many local folks investing in business and infrastructure combined with the new faces in the community who call it home,” state the Kruegers.

The official exchange of ownership is set for July 1, but regulars will notice both families in the store over the next few months as the Kruegers train under the Dippos to make the transition as seamless as possible for the community. The same friendly faces and helpful staff will remain behind the counters and the focus will remain on the customer, keeping the solid foundation and growing along with the community into the future. 

The public is invited to join the Dippos and Kruegers on Saturday, May 28th as Redbud Hardware celebrates its 20th anniversary in downtown Buchanan.  As Dave and Tracy reflect on the last twenty years, they recall “Our favorite thing was the sound of laughter filling the store on a busy day, with neighbors and friends chatting, kids giggling with the dog, the phones ringing, and the popcorn popping – just the best.” It’s always been the people that make this place special, and both current and future owners would love to thank the community for their continued support as the next local family takes over the job of keeping the popcorn hot and the soda cold.

About Redbud Hardware: In 2000, downtown Buchanan lost its last hardware store. Two years later, Tracy and Dave Dippo and family opened the all new Redbud Hardware in the fall of 2002. Conceived in the belief that every small town needs a good hardware store, Redbud Hardware strives to meet the needs of its customers and the community. We offer quality inventory at competitive prices with help from our knowledgeable and friendly staff, all in a pleasant shopping atmosphere. Our goal is to serve the community by providing a great source for all their hardware needs and by participating in community events and supporting local organizations.

Typical business hours are:

  • Monday – Friday : 7a-7p
  • Saturday : 8a-5p
  • Sunday : 10a-2p

Find their Facebook Page here

About J.KRU Sweets: J.KRU Sweets is a small family business that reopened with a MI Department of Agriculture licensed kitchen in October 2020. We run our business out of our home and do not have a storefront. We fill individual orders, event orders and wholesale orders.

Find their Facebook Page here

About The Folks Back Home: A weekly blog and podcast from the Nicest Place in America.

Find their Facebook Page here

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