Crouse Mills True Value: On the Right Track with Niche Products

December 29, 2017
Crouse Mills True Value has made a name for themselves in North Lima, Ohio, by specializing in niche products you wouldn’t expect to find in a hardware store. Their unique offerings include model trains, John Deere collectibles, wind spinners, jigsaw puzzles, craft sodas and seven rooms of Ohio State collectibles.

According to owner John Crouse, “The idea was to create some high margins and make a destination for customers. Being a destination really brings the people.”

Originally a feed mill in the 1800s and a member of the True Value family since 1969, Crouse Mills has had several major expansions. Thirty years ago, their decision to add life-size boxcars and a caboose to the side of the store to display model trains was a huge sales booster. The facility now boasts four levels and is one of the largest model train dealers in Ohio.

John Crouse admits that it can be a challenge finding the vendors and the best prices for niche products. Inspired by a Gold Crest Distributors learning session, he reached out to seven puzzle companies to expand his store’s selection of 12 to over 1,200. Currently, he has a puzzle room in the works and is always on the lookout for that next niche.

Congratulations to John, Nancy and Jack Crouse and the Crouse Mills True Value team!