Palmyra hardware closes store
Propane services move to M&M Service Company
By Kathleen Clark
PALMYRA (March 29, 2018) – One of the last retail stores in Palmyra is going out of business. Wheeler and Ross Hardware, Inc,. located at 30510 Route 111 closes its doors at noon on Saturday, March 31, after 65 years of serving Palmyra and surrounding communities. Aside from the hardware store, Steve Ross and his wife Nancy operate a propane service business and are Holland Grill dealers.
In a letter to customers, Steve Ross said, “After much consideration we have decided to sell our propane business to M&M Service Company in Carlinville effective April 1, 2018.”
Ross, and longtime employee Lanny Pratt, will continue to serve propane customers through M&M Service Company. They will operate out of an office at the Palmyra Elevator facilities at 275 State St. Ross tells customers, “Over the years we have had a good business relationship with M&M and since they offer programs and services like ours they were our first choice when deciding our business exit strategies.” The Ross’ propane business has been in operation for 45 years.
Nancy Ross says the move is bittersweet. “We have worked with M&M over the years, there have been times they have helped us and times we have helped them.” She explains that although she is retiring, Steve and Lanny will continue to be able to fulfill all of their customers’ propane needs. She says she is excited for their customers because through M&M they will continue to receive competitive propane prices and quality service from Steve and Lanny.
Steve Ross explains that his business has operated pretty much the same for many decades. He says recently there have been growing regulations in the propane industry through agencies such as Homeland Security. He has found it difficult to find a committed person to go through the extensive training and regulatory processes to continue independent propane sales on his own. With those things in mind, combined with the need for high-tech computers to comply with some of the regulations, he says the move to M&M will help ease some of those regulatory burdens and allow him to keep propane services in the area.
M&M Service Company is a local cooperative that serves Madison, Montgomery and Macoupin Counties. They offer propane, fuel and farm supplies and services as well as grain elevator operations and grain merchandising. There are also several Fast Stop convenience stores and a Travel Center in the service area. Brad Klaus is the general manager, and the company dates back to 1927.
Nancy Ross says the hardware store building has been bought, although the details are not public yet. But, she says, “The person that bought it has plans for a business that will be good for Palmyra.”
The Wheeler and Ross Hardware store in Palmyra is closing this month. Their propane services and Holland Grill sales will now be available through the M&M Service Company at the Palmyra Elevator facility. Steve Ross and Lanny Pratt will continue to facilitate all area propane services.