Posts tagged ‘Hardware store’

Local Business Owners Talk Shop in Maple Grove | Donato’s Floral, LeVahn Bros. Plumbing, Juniper Clothing | Maple Grove Magazine

LeVahn Brothers Plumbing Donato's Floral and Juniper clothing Talking Shop

We all shop in Maple Grove, but what is it like on the other side of the counter? We talked with three Maple Grove business owners who, as it turns out, hold similar views on what it means to be entrepreneurial and to serve our community.

Local Business Owners Talk Shop in Maple Grove | Donato’s Floral | Maple Grove Magazine.


Business Matters: Maple Grove company celebrates 90 years

The Original LeVahn Brothers Plumbers

The original LeVahn Brothers Oscar, Ed, and my Great Grandfather Art

LeVahn Bros. Plumbing and Hardware is a fixture in Maple Grove today. But you have to go back to 1923, when Warren G. Harding was president, to discover the origins of this local company that’s celebrating 90 years in business in February.

At their retail shop in Maple Grove, LeVahn Bros. is the kind of place where you come to get answers. A fourth-generation family owned business, the hardware store has an old-school feel with aisles of tools and parts and employees that can answer questions about that doodad that you need to fix a leak or to install something.

“We try to stress the service and the expertise that we’ve got,” said store manager Andy LeVahn. “People keep coming back because they know they can come in and get something and get out quickly and get the right thing the first time.”

Andy LeVahn is the fourth generation of LeVahn’s to run the business, but it was his great–grandfather, Art, and his two brothers who started LeVahn Bros. Plumbing in North Minneapolis back in 1923.

At the Maple Grove store, old black and white photographs adorn a wall depicting the early days of the business. Back then plumbers used a horse and buggy and later a Model T Ford to answer service calls, and a receipt from 1923 shows outfitting an entire house in Minneapolis with plumbing cost $68.14.

A Plumbing bill from 1923 or $68.23

A LeVahn Brothers Plumbing bill from 1923

Today, the prices and the modes of transportation have changed, but LeVahn Bros is still a plumbing business. Andy’s father, Loren LeVahn, the current business owner, added a hardware store to the business in 1994. The retail business brought the company to Maple Grove, and the plumbing/hardware store pairing has helped sustain the business.

“When the hardware store gets slow, the business in the plumbing seems to be a little bit better, so they can help each other out that way,” said Andy LeVahn.

It’s customers like Dennis Peterson of Maple Grove that help explain the company’s true longevity though. Peterson is one of many loyal customers who frequent the shop on a regular basis.

“I’m sure I come in here at least once a month for something,” said Peterson. “Some things I really need some help on, I come here cause they can help you more than the big stores can.”

LeVahn Brothers Plumbings retail Hardware Hank Store

Our retail Hardware Hank store located In the Bass Lake Shopping Center

The roots of good customer service go back 90 years for LeVahn Bros., and the younger generation believes that’s just as relevant today as in 1923.

“My great-grandfather started it in Minneapolis. They always try to put the customer first, and that’s what we try to do also,” said Andy LeVahn.

Alexandra Renslo reporting

Here’s a link to the video  from Channel 12 TV: Business Matters: Maple Grove company celebrates 90 years.

LeVahn Brothers Plumbing and Hardware is located at 12700  Bass Lake Rd in Maple Grove, MN 55369

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Minnesota is a hotbed for radioactive gas radon |

  • Minnesota is a hotbed for radioactive gas radon |
  • Here’s a news story from Star Tribune about how prevalent Radon Gas is in Minnesota. It’s incredibly easy to test your home yourself to find out if you have a problem with radon. I tested my home last year with a First Alert test kit that I got from our hardware store. The test kit includes instructions that were very easy to follow. I placed my tester out in a specific spot based off of the instructions and sealed it up 24 hours later. I received my test results after 2 1/2 weeks that indicated that I had low levels of Radon present.

    Gas Leak detector Radon Test kit First Alert Easy radon test Cheap economical hardware store mail in EPA listed Lab test included

    First Alert Radon Test Kit Available from LeVahn Brothers Plumbing and Hardware

My levels were low enough that I didn’t need to do anything. It gave me peace of mind to know that I wasn’t poisoning my kids, wife or myself with radon in my home. I highly recommend getting a test or having your home professionally tested if you have serious worries and want more immediate results.

If you are wondering if the neighborhood that you live in is a hot bed for radon the Star Tribune has a page that allows you to enter your zip code and it will let you know how many cases of radon have been reported in that area.  It will also tell you how that compares to the national average. According to the Star Tribune Minnesota has some of the highest radon concentrations in the country. I entered the Zip code of where the hardware store is located and it indicated that in Maple Grove 55369 just over 34% of the homes tested had unsafe levels of radon present. In Maple Grove 55311 27% of homes tested had unsafe levels. Plymouth Zip code 55442 also was above 27%.  Plymouth 55441 had over 41% of homes tested above unsafe levels of radon.  Here’s the link to that web page if you want to check out your neighborhood:


Adventures in Gardening Volume #3: Rabbits, Fencing and 94 Degrees

Peas Behind Bars

For weeks I’ve been attempting to protect my garden from attack by spraying Liquid Fence and for weeks it’s been working;  until now. It says right on the directions that you need to occasionally re-apply the stuff to ensure that it remains effective, like after a heavy rainfall. What they don’t take into consideration is the general laziness and excuse making of the user. Unfortunately for my garden, I was the user.  In the beginning I was fairly diligent about spraying the garden. But that stuff smells and I kept telling myself “I’ll do it later tonight before I go to bed”. You know how it is, one thing leads to another (watching the Twins can make a guy kinda sleepy these days) and it never got taken care of. You get a little sloppy and a bit careless and that’s when they strike. The little furry devils took them right down to the stems. It was just a few plants but I was  nor going to let that happen again.

I sprayed the garden down with more Liquid fence and decided that I needed to get a bit more drastic with my defenses. The next day at work I picked up some chicken wire and stakes in order to build my fortress wall. I should have done this from the beginning but I hated the idea of how it was going to look. After all, I didn’t want to get too crazy with building a fence without knowing for sure if anything was going to grow. Things have changed since my plants sprung-up and I’ve grown attached to my pathetic little garden.

On my day off I recruited Josey, my 3-year-old slave laborer, and we set off to fortify our garden. The day we decided to build our fence it was 95 degrees out with 70% humidity. Not exactly optimum conditions for yard work but if my 3-year-old wasn’t complaining, either was I. Sometimes it feels good to be outside breaking a sweat doing some hard work. I had Josey help me as best as she could with the fencing but it became apparent that she was getting too hot and frustrated. We took a break and got out the “Crazy Daisy”. While Josey played in the Crazy Daisy sprinkler I continued to work on the fence.

Josey playing with the Crazy Daisy

After working at a hardware store for over 18 years I’ve learned some cardinal rules to follow if you want to purchase the right item at the store. One of those rules is measure so that you know how much to buy. I did not do this… I guesstimated… I was wrong…  By about eight feet. I told Josey that I was done and asked her what she thought about our fence. She looked at it and said, “Dad, won’t rabbits still get in?”  Three year olds think they’re so smart.

Rabbits couldn’t get through, right?

For more information contact us at 763-553-1222

Stop in and see us at 12700 Bass Lake Rd. Maple Grove, MN 55369

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