Mike and Arlene Urban to open Urban’s Isanti Hardware

Rachel Kytonen

Mike and Arlene Urban are looking forward to again being “servants of the community” and giving back to the Isanti community that has been so good to them.

The Urbans will be reopening Isanti Hardware Hank as Urban’s Isanti Hardware Inc. later this month.

Mike and Arlene said former customers encouraged them to reopen the store that has been closed since March.

Mike and Arlene Urban are pictured outside Isanti Hardware Hank in July 1999 during Isanti’s Rodeo Jubilee Days. Pictured in the car is Tim Swanson, whose car they sponsored.

“Mike and I were shopping in Cambridge when we got bombarded by our former customers asking us to come back to the store,” Arlene said. “Our customers always appreciated the fact that our store always had fully-stocked shelves, friendly staff, we were always there when they needed us, and we were always ready to help at any hour of the day.”

The Isanti Hardware store first opened on Main Street in Isanti in the early 1900s. Mike’s parents, Don and Corrine Urban, took over the store in February 1982, and they moved the business to its current location at 403 W. Dual Blvd in 1994, which had previously housed Don’s Plumbing, owned by Steve Lundeen.

Mike and Arlene first became involved with the hardware store when they partnered with Mike’s parents in 1995 after moving to the area from Colorado. After Don and Corrine were tragically killed in a plane crash in January 1997, Mike and Arlene continued to operate the business until they sold it in the fall of 2003.

“We are hoping to be good servants of the community, and give back to the community that has been so good to us,” Arlene said. “Mike and I both take a lot of pride in what we do, and we have been so humbled by the community. The community has just been super to us.”

Arlene explained when they owned the hardware store, they would draw customers from the entire area.

“Besides Cambridge and Isanti, we would draw customers from Henriette, Ham Lake, Princeton, Pine City, and all over the area,” Arlene said. “We would continually run into our former customers who said they missed the service we gave to them. Mike and I are overwhelmed by the appreciation people have given us.”

Mike and Arlene, who have continued to own the building and just leased it to previous owners, started working in the building in late March. Arlene said the entire store has been cleaned, they have been repainting, and are now stocking the floor.

Arlene said she will be bringing back “housewares,” and is excited to bring Christmas back into the store.

Mike and Arlene explained their son Robert and daughter Helina, will work part-time in the store, and be a part of the family business.

“Every town needs a hardware store,” Arlene said. “We are looking forward to working with all the businesses in the community.”

Mike and Arlene said they are looking forward to being a part of the community again, and mentioned they used to support all types of civic organization and causes such as the Chamber, Dollars for Scholars, Customer Appreciation Week, and the Isanti Lighting Contest.

Arlene said when they owned the store, it was known for its paint. She mentioned United Hardware Paint was their distributor, and out of 18 states, the Isanti hardware store would always be in the top 100 stores in paint sales.

Mike and Arlene were also featured on the cover of the trade magazine “Values,” that was published through United Hardware.

When the store reopens, it will carry both Valspar paint and also Hank’s private label, which is also made by Valspar. Mike and Arlene said they will also accommodate special orders for their customers, and offer the same services they used to offer such as pipe threading and glass cutting.

“We are looking forward to once again being a part of the community and looking forward to sharing fun stories with our customers,” Arlene said. “We are focusing on offering a quality store, and all of our employees will offer good product knowledge to our customers.”

Mike and Arlene said they appreciate all the help people have given to them as they get the store ready to open. They have hired a few employees, and will hire more as time goes on.

“Everyone is pitching in and working hard to get the store up and running,” Arlene said. “One thing we learned is that the more we give to the community, the more they will give to us. We want to get back to the value that people are used to. We also want to thank our local business neighbors Rusty and Char, Wayne and Tracy and the Rodeo team.”

Urban’s Isanti Hardware will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The store can be reached at 763-444-9200 and can also be found on Facebook.