Chillicothe store owner celebrates family and franchise success

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For Tom Geiger, every day at work is a family affair. His sister, two of his sons and his wife work alongside him at Geiger’s TrueValue in Chillicothe.

“It’s fun,” Geiger said. “No two days are the same. We solve people’s problems. They come in—not necessarily having to sell them something, but sometimes they have what they need and they just don’t realize it.”

The hardware store has roots in Illinois, dating back to the 1930’s during the Great Depression.

“My grandfather had a hardware store in Sistin [sic] Park, Illinois—small town over south in Kankakee,” said Geiger. “And my dad decided that he needed to look for a new location.”

In 1938, Geiger says his grandfather and his wife picked up and moved their business to Chillicothe. The store had a built in community customer base with Caterpillar and the Santa Fe railroad nearby. They’re now celebrating 80 years in business. 

He said, “We try to provide good, quality service to people and you can’t go into a lot of the places and find people that can help you solve your problem.”

Geiger says the store isn’t without its challenges. They face competition from big box retailers and the Internet regularly. But he says they hold their own. 

“We have to kind of work outside the box a little bit, but people appreciate it,” he said.

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