In business for four decades, Rick Truskowski has not only been able to sell shoppers one wrench instead of the whole new kit…he’s also helped shape the community
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
If you’re a fan of home renovation shows, you have probably done a little work on your own homestead, and you’re probably familiar with permits and setbacks. More importantly, you’re probably used to the chain gangs selling you a whole new toolkit when you just need an 11-mm wrench. Rick Truskowski has your back on this one.
He and his wife Carolyn own the Hemet True Value Hardware Store next to Big Lots. It started out in life as a Coast-to-Coast Hardware store.
“It’s been a hardware store for 41 years,” says Rick.
Rick sticks with True Value, as it gives him and his wife the buying power of the big chain stores while retaining control over how the store is managed.
“True Value and ACE are the largest cooperatives…in the country. It’s one of the few ways to compete with the big boys,” said Rick. “But you own it yourself. When True Value makes a profit, you make a profit.”
Valley Chronicle alumni Lynn Webb first wrote about Truskowski and his True Value store in 2003. Since then, the store has not only weathered an economic storm but helped valley residents clean up after recent actual storms. Thankfully, Rick has the basic tools you need to clean up after this week’s downpour and prepare for the next one.
Their selection includes top-quality tools and parts like the big name stores offer, at comparable prices. They also have energy-efficient items, including LED light bulbs (strongly recommended by this reporter.) Rick also stocks a good selection of paint, if a color change is your next improvement project.
“We have a wide variety of colors that you can get. It’s a great program, our paint program,” he said.
Hemet True Value is also a popular retailer of evaporative “swamp” coolers. Actually, Rick is rather modest about the fact that such coolers are a top seller at his store.
Aside from hardware, Rick has a small selection of old-time pedal cars for kids of our time to enjoy. That’s one novelty today’s kids ought to try out! That’s how surprising Rick’s selection can be.
Part of doing business in any community is giving back to it. Rick has been giving back to the San Jacinto Valley for decades, including sponsoring local school sports. When asked which city’s team he’s a bigger fan of, he said, “I’m a fan of both (cities).” He did, however, donate a barbecue to West Valley high school for use by the senior classes. He’s also sponsored a senior softball league for a quarter century, and for 20 years has helped to maintain the United States and California flags at the corner of Florida Avenue and State Street.
He’s also been a driving force behind the renovation of the historic Hemet Santa Fe Depot. Since fixing it up, the sun has pretty much cooked the existing paint. Because of this, Rick is chipping in his best paints to restore the luster to like-new.
Among other things, Rick and Carolyn have also provided Christmas trees to downtown Hemet in previous years, If there’s any family that knows Hemet, it’s the Truskowskis.
With four decades of sales expertise under one roof, it’s pretty hard to go wrong at Hemet True Value Hardware.
“Our service is second to none,” according to Rick.
Their address is 2007 E. Florida Avenue in Hemet. Give them a visit, and be sure to ask them about the story of Santa Anita-winning racehorse Bob Consultation! That’s one story that’s just too rich to be written in newsprint…