HORSESHOE BEND, Idaho — Despite being the biggest city in Boise County, Horseshoe Bend is still a small town. And the staple of the small town is the mom-and-pop shop.
At Horseshoe's Hardware that "mom" is Shari Fisher. And the "pop" is her husband, Jim, the only hawkers of hardware in town.
"Yeah, I mean I've got, well, a little bit of everything," Shari says as she walks a customer down the cramped aisles of the store.
Here the term hardware is used loosely. Sure, you can find seeds and screws, batteries and brooms, and plumbing parts and paint.
But if you're searching for steer manure to salt licks, or garden gloves to gopher gas, even toilet seats to toys, it can be had at Horseshoe's Hardware.
"Yes, yep, that's it," laughs Shari. "A little bit of everything."
Which is pretty impressive since they started with nothing.
25 years ago home improvement parts were hard to come by in Horseshoe Bend, without such a store since the Great Depression.
"And I got sick and tired of running to Boise or Emmett for a bit part," says Jim.
So, when an old carpenter shed from Black Canyon Dam construction days went up for auction in the mid-90s, Jim had to have it.
"Jim bid on it," says Shari. "I think he paid 25 bucks for it."
Buying it meant rebuilding it, but a barn-raising meant more men were needed - about 20 of them.
And he paid them, too.
"In beer and chili," he laughs. "And all the lies we could tell 'em. So it was a day of amusement, yes.
"So, I've used all of it to get into business as cheap as possible," Jim continues, pointing to the metal siding that now covers the current roof.
Since that summer of '96, Shari and Jim have added on to the building and to their family, they've helped home-owners fix faucets, and have kept on the payroll Betty Herold, one of the oldest residents in town.
"Every Sunday and whenever they need me," Betty says, explaining her work schedule. "I'm 84."
Inside it's 1800 square feet, packed with 30,000 items and endless "good ones."
"Good to see you," says Shari, after cashing out a customer, ending every transaction with a "Have a good one."
Don't forget your "Goodbye" from Betty.
"Be sure and come back!" she says from her seat on the store's front porch.
Horseshoe's Hardware, home-grown and still lifted by locals.
"They didn't have to," says Shari. "And if they didn't we certainly wouldn't still be here."
"We're gonna keep it that way," agrees Jim. "'Till we just fall over."
Jim says the expansion he built-on back in 2000 consisted of three outbuildings from the closed Boise Cascade sawmill.
He says he paid $50 for all three, meaning the basic structure of the hardware store cost him $75, a pretty good return on investment.
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