Focus On: Building a Family Legacy
Honor Hardware and Building Supply, Inc. was founded in 1963 by Earl and Shirley Soderquist. They were the first to build and open a retail store in what is now the Honor Shopping Plaza.
Two of Earl and Shirley’s four daughters chose to work alongside their parents. Eldest daughter Lynn and her husband Tom Hopkins started working for the business in the ‘70s and by 1987, their youngest daughter Mary and her husband Doug Rodriguez had also joined the company.
In the ‘70s, Earl and Shirley purchased some property in Frankfort to build another store, Frankfort Building Supply, which opened in 1978. In 1998, Lynn and Tom purchased several buildings in Onekama where they opened Onekama Building Supply. The couple purchased the corporation in 1999 when Earl and Shirley retired.
The years-long recession that started at the end of 2007 was a difficult time for the building supply industry, the company and the family. In 2009, Tom passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.
Following Tom’s passing, Doug became general manager and worked alongside Lynn during troubling times for both the family and the business. In 2014, they made the difficult decision to close the Frankfort location. Several independently owned lumber and home centers had to close their doors during this recession.
“It was one of the most devastating times our industry has ever seen,” Mary, vice president and owner, says. “We are so very thankful for all of our customers, vendors and employees who stood by us during those difficult times.”
In 2021, Doug and Mary purchased the business from Lynn upon her retirement. Today they own and manage the Honor and Onekama locations.
“I am so grateful for this business her parents founded and so very proud to be able to carry on the family business,” Doug says. “There are days that are very difficult but all the blessings we have received have far outweighed the difficulties.”
“My parents founded this business with absolutely nothing but a dream and a vision. They led this business to success on the foundation of honesty and integrity,” Mary says. “They also taught us to treat our employees the same way. That’s why I believe we don’t really have a high turnover of employees. My parents also taught us that exceptional customer service is also key to a successful business.”
The family is fully embracing 2023 as they celebrate two milestones for their business –– Honor’s 60th anniversary and Onekama’s 25th anniversary.
“We are so very thankful for every customer that walks through our doors and the relationships we have built with them,” Mary says. “Buying local from an independently owned business builds stronger communities. When you buy locally you are helping the local economy.”
If you don’t already, the Rodriguez family suggests considering buying locally from independent businesses the next time you need supplies. “You will see the difference buying locally makes,” Mary says.