The Bulletin recently talked with Weston Jacobs of Weakley-Watson Ace Hardware, winner of 2019 Best of Brown County Best Hardware Store, about all things family and business.
The decision for the Jacobs family to buy Weakley–Watson Hardware in 2017, and rescue the store from pending closing, was decided by a text, Weston said.
When Weston received a text that his dad, Tim Jacobs, wanted to buy Weakley-Watson, he and his wife Em were living in College Station while he worked at for Peterbilt. And they weren’t really sold on moving back to Brownwood. Tim wanted to move Jacobs Family Pharmacy to the Weakley-Watson building, but the owner thought it might be better for the family to just buy the hardware store. Tim Jacobs, while on vacation in Jamaica, sent a text to Weston on Friday night that read…
“Hey, might buy Weakley-Watson, if you’ll come home and run it… Let me know?”
The decision had to be made by Sunday. Thinking of their two girls, Weston and Em moved back home to Brownwood. Having never run a hardware store, Weston had to learn and change a couple of things to keep up with customers’ demand, but the store — originally founded in 1876 — continues to thrive.
Here’s a couple of things you might now know about what was voted “best hardware store in town”:
• Weston is married to college sweetheart Em, they met at Texas A&M and they have two kids, Janey and Jordie
• Weakley-Watson is the oldest hardware store in Texas, serving customers since 1876
• The employees love serving the community, and they serve a lot of people they grew up, which is nice Weston states
• Between all the employees at Weakley-Watson, they have 140 plus years of experience in hardware with two of the employees having worked at the store longer than Weston has been alive
• The hardware store now has the ability to get all items you may need that aren’t in the store within two days by ordering items on their website or by coming into the store
• Some of the most popular items in the store include the Stihl Chainsaw and Traeger Pellet Grills, which Weston was told wasn’t a good item to carry but turned out to be a best seller
• Weakley-Watson is 100 percent family owned and operated. Their structured as a co-op, but they are an independently family owned store.
• Weston and his family have never owned a hardware store. He’s had to greet each customer, listen to their problem and find solutions, which is his favorite part of the business.
• The family is very thankful for being voted Best of Brown County 2019. Their goal is to not just sell but serve the customers. Anyone can sell an item, Weston said, but the Weakley-Watson team members strive to help the customer and give them knowledge on how to use items purchased.