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Northome True Value is the Business of the Week

Northome True Value has been owned and operated by Steve and Gail Heald for the past 29 years. After almost three decades of being in the business, they're ready to retire.

"We're hoping to have the sale finalized this summer," Gail said. "We love the business, but we're just ready to retire and spend time up fishing and at our cabin on Lake of the Woods."

Prior to coming to True Value in Northome, the Healds worked retail in Bemidji and at Marvin Windows in Warroad.

"Steve has always worked retail and wanted to have a business of his own," Heald said. "When the previous owner was ready to sell, they actually contacted us and got us to buy it. Steve has just always wanted the challenge of owning his own business."

At the store, Gail is in charge of the bookwork and Steve heads up the floor and customer service responsibilities.

In the last 29 years, the Healds have seen their business take many twists and turns.

"It really grew when we added on in 1995," Heald said. "We also added a complete rental department."

The store offers rentals from tents to tools to heavy machinery.

"We have a little bit of everything," Heald said.

Just as Hardware Hank in Blackduck found, Northome True Value has also taken a hit from Wal-Mart in Bemidji, even though its nearly 40 miles away.

"Wal-Mart probably has taken away more business than anything other store because people can go there for just about anything," Heald said.

According to Heald, a small town store like True Value can offer the customer a lot more service.

"We also sell a lot of appliances -- especially lawnmowers," she said. "We service what we sell and we take care of the customer."

Heald said that the out of town customer base they have really enjoy the store, especially the small town feel they can offer.

"People like that they can come in, ask where something is, get it and get out," she said.

While they're still at the store, the Healds are still enjoying their store and will miss it when they're gone.

"We're just ready to be done," Heald said. "We do get away, but it does tie us down. The store is ready for a change -- its ready for fresh, new ownership. We'll be relieved when its out of our hands."

Northome True Value is located directly on Main Street in Northome and is open 8 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and is closed Sundays.