WICHITA — The Dondlinger family may best be known for its construction company, but now it’s expanding its hardware store business, too.
The first will have a March 30 grand opening, with a soft opening about a week before, in the former White’s Foodliner building in Goddard.
The family bought the former grocery at 199th and U.S. 54 in November. At the time, Raymond Dondlinger, who is in operations and business development for the construction and hardware companies, told Have You Heard? he wasn’t ready to share plans.
This is in addition to the Williams Ace Hardware the Dondlingers bought at Central and Woodlawn in May.
The business was started by the family’s maternal grandfather, Jim Williams, in 1958 and most recently was owned by his namesake son.
“It’s still a family-owned business,” Raymond Dondlinger says. It’s one he says the family would like to grow.
“We saw … a need out in Goddard,” he says. “Being in Goddard, it will probably be … more agricultural based.”
That means it will sell more pet food, agricultural feed and large-quantity fertilizer than the Wichita Williams Ace Hardware.
Dondlinger says just because the family is in the construction business doesn’t mean its stores are geared to that business.
“We’re not trying to sell to other commercial contractors,” he says. “We’re gearing more towards the home owner and maybe the independent.”
Still, Dondlinger says there are a few benefits, though not many, to a construction company having a hardware business as well.
He says the company has always purchased its nails through Williams Ace Hardware and gets a few other things, such as shovels and wheelbarrows, there also.
“It’s just very, very small,” Dondlinger says. “We’re trying to keep things as separate as we can. They’re quite different worlds.”
More Williams Ace Hardware stores are a possibility, though probably not anytime soon.
“We’re going to get these two stores opened, get them moving forward, and well see where we go from there.”