After 43 years in business, Ocean Shores’ Buck Electric Ace Hardware original owner Steve Buck is turning the business over to his sons, Stephen and Joe Buck.
As president of the company, oldest brother Stephen has taken the lead. He began working for his father in 1985 at the age of 16. He left the area in 1988 to serve in the Army, but returned to take a place in the electrical side of Buck Electric and is a licensed electrician. He managed the Hoquiam Ace Hardware Store for three years, and has managed the Ocean Shores store since 2015, and will continue to do so as an owner.
Joe worked at a hardware store in Port Angeles for many years. Joe has remained an adviser to them long after his return to Ocean Shores and Buck Electric Ace Hardware.
Buck Electric opened in 1977 with a team of full-service certified electricians. By 1985, they were well established in the community, and father Steve was playing softball in the many tournaments held in Ocean Shores.
“One day, they needed additional softballs, and no one carried them,” explains Stephen. “The nearest retailer would be back in Aberdeen.”
Steve talked with a local retailer shortly after and explained the dilemma, citing the multiple tournaments scheduled throughout the summer. The retailer brought in a case of balls, but after Steve purchased the case, they didn’t bring in any more.
“That stuck with Dad, and he began to realize that there were many things that just weren’t available in Ocean Shores.”
“Basic Needs” opened in 1985, a storefront for Buck Electric. Partnering with Ace Hardware in 1986, the store has grown from Basic Needs into the store it is today. The Basic Needs sign still hangs on the building, but was dropped from the official name.
The original 3,000-square-foot unit occupied by Buck Electric Ace Hardware soon grew too small, and after multiple expansions, topped out at 8,000 square feet. In 2018, the business decided to build its own building at 641 Point Brown Ave NE. The new building is 33,000 square feet.
With that much retail space, they are able to accommodate many departments varying from greeting cards and gift items to pet supplies and seasonal offerings.
“We want to be here for the community,” Stephen says. “Our business is built on having the right items at the right time, and allowing the convenience of shopping right here in Ocean Shores.”