New building planned by owners of the Henry Bierce Supply Co.
TALLMADGE – A company owned by the Bierce family for 110 years will have new owners and a new 3,500 square foot building off South Avenue.
The name will be the Henry Bierce Supply Co., and new owners Tom Mackall and Mike Schory of East Fairfield Stone Co. and other businesses will add a new building off South Avenue for a showroom to exhibit its hardscape products, said Mayor David Kline. The business merger will allow the Bierce family to own the real estate and lease the property.
“Mike and I are serial entrepreneurs, and we’re excited for a new challenge,” Mackall said. “We have a lot of beliefs on how a business should run and we’re good listeners.”
Mackall and Schory have been business partners for 15 years.
“We think this will be a good move to us to add to our current businesses,” Mackall said. “We can share administrative and sales cost and be more efficient as we compete in the business world.
“Everyone is excited,” Mackall added. “We have new ideas and a new showroom with Tom and Dave [Bierce] giving good leadership to make it a successful company in the future.”
The Henry Bierce Co., at 50 Southeast Ave., opened Jan. 1, 1910, by Henry Bierce and was then passed to his sons, Lucius and David and then passed to grandsons, David, 61, and Tom, 57. The company provides building materials and hardscape supplies.
David Bierce said his grandfather built the business and he’s been in the Henry Bierce Co. business all his life.
The front of the old Bierce Building is used by David and Tom Bierce who will be employees and landlords of the property.
David Bierce said they sent a letter to their customers and vendors about the name change to the Henry Bierce Supply Co.
“We let go of some things and kept our hands in things that were important to us,” Bierce said. “It got us thinking about figuring out what the next step is.”
The children of both Tom and David are scattered around the United States with their own careers or attending school, and none of the family members wanted to take over the business.
“We did not have a viable succession plan,” David Bierce said. “Now we’re trying to have a clear end game.”
Mackall and Schory manufacture cement blocks and Bierce has been a distributor for them.
“These guys were interested, and we’ve done business with them for some time,” David Bierce said. “They wanted the Akron and Cleveland area. They looked at our location as a good launching pad to get into those markets.”
“We’ve known them for a number of years,” Mackall said. “We agreed if we worked together in this new fashion it would be beneficial to everyone. We have a young corps of people in our organization who can lead it in the future. We hope to set it up to be a successful corporation long after Tom, Dave, Mike and I are gone.”
The new owners offer more brick lines, more buying power with three locations, product lines and elements of manufacturing, David Bierce said.
“The really important thing to us was a safe landing for everyone,” Bierce said. “They kept every one of our people [12 employees].”
David and Tom Bierce had already given the retail part of the business to Hartville Hardware.
Hartville Hardware will continue to lease the 8,000 square feet for the retail hardware store side of the building, Kline said.
“It’s a wonderful addition to the city,” Kline said. “It gives them additional buying power and the ability to serve more customers. Hartville Hardware has been busy during the COVID pandemic as people make home improvements.”
The city supports the project that will see the expansion of the Henry Bierce Co., he said.
“This merger will expand product lines, combine sales forces and improve buying power,” said Matthew Springer, Tallmadge economic developer. “The new showroom and outdoor hardscape displays will have great exposure to the Circle and will increase cross-merchandising opportunities between the Supply Company and Hartville Hardware.”
The next step is a site plan before the planning and zoning commission on July 2.
Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org