The owner of a generation old City Park West store wants to bring a hardware store to the neighborhood.
Stephen Julia, the grandson of the man who opened the nut and snack packer and distributor in 1948, wants to keep the old shop at 2101 N. Humboldt St., but says Jerry’s takes up more space than he needs.
Shrinking Jerry’s back to about half the building’s roughly 28,400-square-foot space, as Julia hopes, would create plenty of room for another business. The Julia family decided to add an Ace hardware at this location.
“I’ve been trying to shrink Jerry’s back for a long time,” Julia told BusinessDen on Tuesday. “There is too much space for us. There’s a big retail store, big office that we never took full advantage of, and then we never got retail traction out of business for what we do. I don’t think it was the right fit. And that’s a significant part of the room – the other part was production, and we changed some things there and scaled those back as well. “
Before he can get Ace into the room, Julia needs city council approval to reclassify the property. His application for rededication was before a council committee Tuesday morning and was passed on to the whole council unanimously and without objection.
“My wife and I have always enjoyed Ace and decided to see if this was an option,” said Julia. “We love that this is a cooperative and we can run the store as we as independent operators want, but with the Ace infrastructure behind it.”
Julia said the neighborhood feel of the national chain and the independence offered to shopkeepers were a big part of what drew his family – his parents still own Jerry’s with him – specifically to Ace.
“No franchise fee, no secret shopping, it’s just a support structure,” he said. “I can even queue up my Jerry’s Nut House products. They even encourage it. I obviously own and run a local business right now and would like to have another. That’s exactly the feeling I want. “
Julia said the neighborhood largely supported the effort.
“I live nearby and it’s hard to get to other places to pick up something like (ace deals),” Julia said. “People have to go all the way to 9th Avenue across Ace or other parts of town, like up to Stapleton for the Home Depot.”
Julia said he estimated the ace to take up a little less than 10,000 square feet and the smaller version of Jerry about 11,000 square feet.
“Jerry has been in the family since 1948,” said Julia. “I’ve been running it for my people for over 10 years and I know they don’t want Jerry to go away. Neither do I. This seemed like a logical step to make sure we could make money and secure it for the future. “
According to Julia, Jerry’s Nut House is a primarily wholesale nuts and snacks packer that also has a retail branch. He said he had up to 20 employees at Jerry’s during the holiday season, although it has dropped to around eight since the pandemic broke out.
“We have to keep expanding again and I would like to hover between 15 and 20,” said Julia. “Ace, I haven’t set the exact hours yet and I’m not sure, but I estimate about 40 employees.”
The timing of the changes is pretty hard to pinpoint, Julia said given the uncertainty about the reallocation and more. He said he hoped to have Ace and Jerry back by the end of this year, but that early next year was a possibility.