ADDRESS: 456 Peosta St., Peosta, Iowa
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
ONLINE: stevesace.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/stevesace.
PEOSTA, Iowa — Prior to the opening of the latest location of her family’s home and garden business, Sara Carpenter said one customer pried open the doors to see if the store was up and running.
“We’ve been so well-received here,” she said. “We’ve had people anticipating this moment for a long time.”
The new Steve’s Ace Home & Garden in Peosta had its soft opening on Monday, with various grand opening activities planned for Friday to Sunday, April 22 to 24.
The store is the third Steve’s Ace location in Dubuque County. The business, owned by Jason and Sara Carpenter, has two Dubuque locations at 200 S. Locust St. and 3350 John F. Kennedy Road. The business was started in 1988 by Sara’s parents, Steve and Judy Selchert, before the Carpenters took over four years ago.
Sara said the family discussed opening a Peosta location before she and her husband took over ownership, but her parents wanted to focus on their Dubuque locations at the time as they got closer to retirement.
“Many of our customers travel from this area to shop at our stores in Dubuque,” she said. “This gives the people of Peosta, and even people on the West End (of Dubuque), a chance to shop at our stores without having to drive into town.”
Sara said the new location took over an empty lot on Peosta Street, the main north-south road through the city. It is located across the street from the Peosta Police Department.
Construction on the store went quickly, with crews breaking ground in August.
The new store will offer a slightly different selection of items than the two Dubuque locations but still will include hardware items, outdoor living items, a children’s section called “Sprout” and plant materials.
“Our current Locust location, we describe that as a tried-and-true hardware store,” she said. “Our JFK location is described as a home and garden store with a hardware store in it. This (Peosta) location is a curated collection of our large location on JFK.”
For example, she said, the new store will have popular annuals, but there might be fewer seasonal trees and shrubs.
However, the Carpenters will ask local customers about their needs and what products might be good for the store to stock.
“We have places open in the store now for that intention,” Jason said. “We try to have different stuff in every store.”
One feature unique to the Peosta store will be a self-service dog-washing station in the pet aisle, though the equipment is not set up yet due to shipping delays. Jason said they got the equipment — which features multiple celebrity voices talking customers through how to wash their dogs — after hearing Peosta was a big dog community.
Sara said they also are working with local businesses to hear what sort of specialty items they need to carry as well.
The location pays homage to the family-run business. In addition to a large banner featuring an image of the Carpenter family, another banner features a photo of Sara’s dad on the opening day of the first Steve’s Ace location that was at the intersection of JFK and Pennsylvania Avenue.
“While we grow, it’s important to remember where our roots are and to remember where we came from,” Sara said.
The Carpenters said they look forward to getting to know the Peosta community more going forward.
“I feel like we built this store to grow with the city,” Jason said.