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Local company celebrates 30 years in business

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:30 p.m.
Cami DiBattista | for the Ligonier Echo
John Horrell of Fairfield Township and Ronald Neiderhiser of Ligonier Township celebrate the 30th year of Horrell-Neiderhiser Inc. Cami DiBattista photo taken April 25, 2013

When John Horrell and Ronald Neiderhiser first met in 1960, they had no idea they were about to embark on a lifelong journey together.

The two have worked together for more than 50 years and opened their current business, Horrell-Neiderhiser Inc. 30 years ago this month.

For almost 20 years, the two worked together for a local plumbing and heatingcompany. When Horrell suggested they open their own business, Neiderhiser said he was immediately on board.

“I thought it was a good plan,” Neiderhiser said.

The business started off in plumbing, heating and air conditioning.

“We did residential work and then we started getting bigger and got into school and hospitals,” Horrell said, of the business that began in 1983.

In 2009 and nearing retirement age, they sold off the plumbing and heating part of their business and began focusing on lumber and hardware.

“We keep plenty busy,” Horrell said, “We're a good community hardware store; we carry a little bit of everything a homeowner might need.”

A concern that Horrell and Neiderhiser shared when they decided to sell the business was the employment of their workers.

“Some of the guys had been with us for over 20 years and we didn't want to see anyone losing a job,” Horrell said.

It ended up being in the contract that whoever bought the business would buy the equipment, as well as keep all the employees on.

Horrell and Neiderhiser credit their differences for their years of successful employment together.

“We have very different interests and totally different personalities,” Horrell said. “I like to say I'm the short, good-looking one and he's the tall, ugly one. For him, everything has to be neat and in its place and he calls me a slob.”

Regular customer Wade Hall of Ligonier agreed.

“They're like ‘The Odd Couple,'” Hall joked. “But seriously, It's a nice local business. I like to come here.”

Horrell and Neiderhiser said their business sees a lot of regular customers.

“We have people who are very loyal to us — they've been buying here since we've been in business,” said Horrell.

In celebration of their 30th year in business, Horrell and Neiderhiser are offering a coupon for a 10 percent discount on all cash sales for the month of May. A coupon can be found in their ad in this edition of the Ligonier Echo.

After 50 years of partnership, the gentlemen joke that their relationship is like a marriage.

“They really do just work very well together,” said the company's bookkeeper, Belinda Henry, who has been with the company for five years.

Horrell and Neiderhiser seek to spend more time enjoying their retirement years.

“We both like to dote on our grandchildren,” Horrell said.

They are actively looking to sell Horrell and Neiderhiser Inc.

“We're just concerned about selling to the right person,” said Neiderhiser.

Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.