Business & economy

New owners set for Ontario’s Kinney Bros. & Keele store

ONTARIO – A regional hardware company will soon own one of Ontario’s oldest and most visible stores.

John Kirby, the owner of Kinney Bros. & Keele Hardware announced Thursday, Oct. 27, that he is selling his business to Thatcher’s Ace Hardware, based in Baker City.

Thatcher’s owns stores in Baker City, La Grande and Pendleton.

Zach and Tori Thatcher will be the new owners of the Ontario store. Zach Thatcher recently retired from the Baker City Police Department.

“This will not be new to Zach, as he was raised in the hardware business,” Kirby said in the press release.

In a press release, Kirby said the biggest change is “that Ace Hardware will become the major supplier, instead of True Value.”

“My son Randall and my daughter Mara Kirby-Garcia will remain as local managers. The rest of the staff will also remain,” he said.

Kirby said he, too, will remain at the store to mentor his children and “teach them a few specialty areas of the business.”

Kinney Bros. & Keele Hardware is a fixture in the Ontario community. The store opened in 1926, owned by Claude Keele and his brother-in-law L.J. Hop Kinney.

Kirby started at the business in 1964.

 “I am excited because this has always been family business and so it will remain. The Thatchers embody the same eastern Oregon farm/ranch values that we have,” said Kirby.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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