La Porte W.- (219) 362-3310
La Porte E.- (219) 325-8066
Michigan City- (219) 872-5431
Walkerton- (574) 586-3233
Granger- (574) 272-2333
South Bend S.- (574) 299-1912
South Bend N.- 574-277-1155
Kabelin Hardware Co., Inc.
Four Generations of Family and Community History.
Our mission is to consistently provide our customers with a superior shopping experience by exceeding their expectations and solving their problems with desirable products and services every time they call or visit our stores.
We will accomplish our mission statement by providing our customers with competitive prices, complete selection, and constant in stock position, quick checkouts, satisfaction guaranteed, a superior service department, and a comfortable and pleasant store environment that is convenient and easy to shop.
The key to our success is behind the red vest!!
The history of the present Kabelin ACE Hardware store at 512 Andrew Avenue can be traced back to the year 1912. In that year, Edward W. Kabelin purchased an interest in the Webber Hardware Co., which was established in the 1850’s. Ten years later, he purchased the remaining interest, and in 1924, with the association of his son, Russell H. Kabelin, the store name was changed to Kabelin Hardware. Kabelin Hardware Co., Inc. became incorporated in the State of Indiana in 1957.
For 32 years, the new Kabelin Hardware operated from 716 Lincolnway. In 1954, the company moved to 816 Lincolnway, across from the courthouse, where it remained until 1967. In that year, Russell Kabelin and his son, Jerrald, announced the expansion move to 1020 Lincolnway. Jerrald T. Kabelin had joined his father in business in 1962, after completing his B.S. in Business at Indiana University and 2 years in the U.S. Army. The store remained at 1020 Lincolnway (12,000 square feet) and operated very profitably for 19 years. Then, in 1986, Jerrald T. Kabelin, President, along with his wife, Kay, and his three daughters, Diana, Elizabeth and Kristine, formed a partnership and purchased a 68,000 square foot strip center at 512 Andrew Avenue. They then moved the store to this location and occupied 40,000 square feet. Kroger occupied the other 28,000 square feet of this center. In November, 1989 Krogers moved to its new location and in early 1990, Kabelin Service Center was moved to this location and combined with the Hardware Store to occupy the entire 68,000 square foot building.
In 1972, to provide customers with a complete service facility, the Kabelin True Value Service Center was opened at 806 Monroe Street, LaPorte, Indiana. In 1987, the Service Center was moved to 1020 Lincolnway, the prior location of the Hardware Store and present location of Movie Gallery & Roxy Music. It was then again moved to 512 Andrew Avenue and combined with the Hardware Store in 1990. Phil Bluhm has managed this facility for more than 30 years.
Throughout its history, the Kabelin name has been well known in retailing in the LaPorte County area. In 1961, the firm acquired the 2,000 sq. ft. Houser Hardware store in Walkerton, Indiana. It was later expanded to 4,000 sq. ft., and in 1980, a new 12,000 sq. ft. store was built behind the original store at 410 Indiana Street. The new store was once again expanded to 16,000 sq. ft. in 1988. Bob Wardman managed the Walkerton store from 1964 until 1978 when his son and our current Store Manager, Jack Wardman, became the manager for this location.
In July, 1971, Jerrald T. Kabelin announced the opening of the largest hardware store in Northern Indiana at the Marquette Mall in Michigan City, Indiana. Then in 1984, land was purchased next to the Marquette Mall and the store was moved to the new 40,000 square foot building, doubling its size and increasing its sales by 50%. His daughter, Diana, joined the company on a full time basis after graduation from the Business School at Indiana University in 1983. Diana also obtained a Masters of Business degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1991. She, along with two other associates, Dick Brewe and Ed Soetje, managed the Michigan City location until 1987, at which time Diana moved to the LaPorte location to install the company’s first point of sale computer system. Diana is currently the CEO/President of the company, a position she has held since 2002. In 1989, the Michigan City store was once again expanded with a 10,000 square foot addition. In 1990, Jerry’s daughter Elizabeth (Betsy) Kabelin joined the company in a management position with the Michigan City store. Betsy also holds a Business degree from Indiana University and is currently Vice President of Advertising and Operations.
Since 1984, the Michigan City and LaPorte stores have been ranked in the top 10 in the nation based on purchases through the member owned wholesaler, Cotter & Co. (True Value). Then in 1991, Kabelin Hardware Co. became the #1 purchaser from Cotter & Co. for combined store purchases. Cotter & Co. merged with Service Star in 1997 and its new name was TruServ. In January 2003, the Kabelin family decided to change their wholesaler affiliation from True Value (TruServ) to ACE Hardware.
In November, 1981, the company purchased the Roxy Music Shop at 1008 Lincolnway, which now operates as a division of the Kabelin Hardware Co.. It was expanded and currently occupies 7,000 square feet at 1012 Lincolnway. In 1989, Roxy entered the Catalog Mail Order business and now sends approximately 50,000 catalogs all over the United States, Canada & Puerto Rico. Roxy entered into the Internet business in 1997. Visit their web site to check out all of the musical products we can offer our customers. www.Roxymusic.com.
In 1990, the Kabelin Commercial Supply Division was developed. This division currently operates from the LaPorte West facility and provides industrial and commercial accounts with commercial products, commercial pricing, and daily delivery service. This division has several outside sales representatives that call on our major accounts in all our markets to provide them with extra attention to service their needs.
February 2005, Kabelin Hardware purchased ACE Hardware on the east side of LaPorte at 605 E. Lincolnway. The prior owners had run this small successful hardware store for 15 years. This store has a sales area of 10,000 square feet. It may be small, but it does as much business as the stores that are twice their size.
July 2005, Kabelin Hardware purchased an 18,500 square foot building at 1910 E. Ireland Rd. and opened a brand new ACE Hardware store in January 2006. This location was formerly a successful Franks Nursery store.
The year 2005, was a very busy year for Kabelin Hardware. In December 2005, Kabelin Hardware purchased Granger True Value Hardware. The prior owners had run this successful 15,000 square foot hardware store for the past 15 years. This was the 3rd store in one year that was added to the Kabelin Company, thus making 2005 and 2006 years of tremendous growth for the company. South Bend and Granger had a joint
Grand Opening celebration in April of 2006.