Island woman taking the reins of local hardware business in Gore Bay

Stephanie Steele in her office at Steele’s Home Hardware in Gore Bay.

Stephanie Steele continues family tradition by through family business

GORE BAY- Stephanie Steele is continuing a family tradition by taking over the operations of Steele’s Home Hardware in Gore Bay but has her own individual ideas on how the business will run in the future.

“One of my biggest goals is to continue the legacy my dad (Mike) had, and my grandfather (Doug Steele), who originally started the business,” Ms. Steele told The Expositor last week. “This makes it three generations running this business, and it was important to me to keep the business going.” 

Ms. Steele is part owner of the business but basically took over operations of the business, with her mother having stepped back. She took over operations of the business in late June. 

Earlier this year Mike Steele, who had taken over running the business from his father Doug many years ago, passed away. At the time, “I had been living in southern Ontario. I was working at an independent building centre down south; in the middle of COVID-19 I had been going to school to become an electrician. But it was hard to keep up an apprenticeship with the pandemic taking place.”

“I was already working in a hardware store in my employment down south, and with being around this store when I was growing up, I have a lot of experience in this business,” continued Ms. Steele. “And I belong on the Island; I really didn’t like living and  working down south.”

“Everything will be staying the same, and everyone (store employees) has stayed the same,” said Ms. Steele. “Hopefully, there will be room for growth in the business in the future. I am part of the younger generation and have new ideas that the older generation might not have thought of.” 

Running the business that her father and her grandfather had run for so many years, “is something that I have always wanted to do, but something I expected to be doing much later in life. My idea was to become an electrician and work in this field for awhile and then come to Gore Bay and run the store.”

“I grew up in the hardware business and learned when I was young how it works. But I’m learning as I go about business and the bookkeeping part of the business, but it is a new challenge and something I’m looking forward to carrying on in the future,” added Ms. Steele.