Poland True Value sign replaced
By Sarah Einselen
Poland’s is finally Poland’s again, after waiting months for its new sign to replace the one broken in the spring hailstorms.
Rumors that it had been bought out and its name changed are unfounded, said Poland True Value co-owner Amie Wolf. The new sign was simply delayed in coming because of a fire in the warehouse from whence it was ordered, doubling the manufacture and delivery time. It finally arrived on Oct. 20.
Amie and husband Rick did, in fact, partner with Rick’s parents Dick and Paulette Wolf to purchase the business from the Poland family in January of 2008, but the four decided at the time to keep the Poland name.
“We never announced when we bought the store,” Amie said. “It wasn’t an issue.”
That’s because the Wolf family has been involved with the store for many years. After retiring as a Galion firefighter, Dick (formally Harley Richard Wolf, Jr.) was hired at Poland’s hardware in the mid-nineties, where Paulette joined him in 1997 after 27 years working at Taylor’s. Dick had spent most of his life in Galion, having graduated from the high school in 1963.
Their son Rick (or Harley Richard Wolf, III), a 1989 Galion graduate, joined them in January of 2006 to help manage the store for owners Willard and Annabelle Poland. Just months afterward, in May, Willard died, leaving Annabelle with the store after the pair had owned and operated it together for 37 years. The Wolfs purchased it from her to relieve her of the responsibility, which weighed heavily as she reached her mid-80s.
“Willard and Dick were always good friends,” Amie said, “and Willard wanted him to come in with him when he bought the store.
“Annabelle always said it would have made Willard very happy that we bought the store. He wanted the store to go to a family.”
Amie joined the crew last year to help manage the growing business behind the scenes, working mostly with the store’s accounts. She taught English classes at the main campus of Ohio State University before and said she is glad not to have to make such a long drive to work anymore. She has no plans to return to teaching full-time, she said, but may consider adjunct teaching if circumstances permit.
The Wolf family wants to keep expanding the business in the next few years. An application with the city zoning department to expand its retail space is pending, and, if approved, would allow Poland’s to add just under 1,000 square feet to the store’s retail space, to be followed by more expansion phases beginning with additional paint sales space. An expansion to the gift sales area will probably come after that.
Poland True Value Hardware is located at 234 Harding Way East in Galion.