Liz Haun checks the inventory packing the shelves of her new store in Nyssa. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)

NYSSA – Liz Haun is going back to her roots.

The hardware business is in Haun’s blood, as she grew up walking the aisles of bolts and wrenches and hammers at Steve’s Do It Yourself Hardware in Nyssa.

Now, after eight years teaching at Four Rivers Community School in Ontario, Haun is embarking on a new adventure, opening Nyssa Mercantile at 119 Main St.

“My grandfather and uncle have a hardware store. So, I decided to go back to what I was raised doing,” said Haun.

Her father, Steve, bought the former Kline’s Hardware in Nyssa in the early 2000s and ran it about eight years. After he closed, Haun used the downtown building as a dance studio. With her son preparing for college, though, Haun said she decided she needed to make a change.

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“It was time to do something a little more,” she said. “I needed to step it up a little bit and do something with the family building. And I wanted to help the community.”

Haun has been working since June to convert the dance studio space into a True Value Hardware store. The doors opened last week.

At a little over 10,000 square feet, the new store offers a variety of hardware items.

Haun said, however, her new store will set itself apart by offering an extensive array of electrical and plumbing equipment.

“We have housewares, paints, toys along with outdoor camping and fishing equipment, grills and fire pits. We have a little bit of everything,” said Haun.

She also plans to add a 4,000-foot garden center behind the hardware store and more parking.

“That (parking) was a problem before. We only had three parking spaces out front,” said Haun.

Haun said she is leasing the building from her parents.

Haun said while the past summer was busy as she worked to get the store in shape, she believes it will be worth it.

“It seems like the right choice. Everything is in place. The community needs this,” said Haun.

Haun expects the business to have between five and seven employees.

Looking toward the opening, Haun has been busy coordinating new shipments of products and preparing a computer system for the store.

“It has been quite a venture,” said Haun. “Some days I go home and pour blood out of my shoe and go ‘why?’ But I am totally excited.”

News tip? Reporter Pat Caldwell: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.

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