Ninety years ago, in 1922, Matthew Schneider founded Silica Hardware, located in Silica just northeast of Fond du Lac.
Catering to the needs of local farmers, the store sold hardware and other miscellaneous household goods. The business grew and soon identified the need to add appliances and lawn/garden products to their lineup.
After Matthew, his son Alphonse Schneider took over the business in 1952. Alphonse’s quick wit, humor and genuine concern for his customers continued the growth of the business. His philosophy of fair prices, quality products and providing the best service around added to the already positive experience his customers embraced when shopping his store.
Although Matthew would not recognize today’s products and store layout, he would recognize the warm, friendly service, expert product knowledge and personalized dedication providing for customers’ needs. These qualities of the business have not changed in the 90 years the company has been in business.
Silica currently is embarking on its fourth generation of ownership while leading the way with fast-paced technological improvements. “The roots stay the same as the business grows, but we open our minds to the change of technology and the change of innovation,” current president Tom Schneider said.
Silica distinguishes itself from the competition by ensuring all of their sales, service calls and deliveries are done by Silica-employed personnel. There are no third-party interests in their business. Schneider said, “We are a complete package. Our sales staff is the best in the industry. Our delivery team treats your home with the utmost respect and installs your products so they are ready for the customer to use when the delivery is complete. They also ensure the customer knows how to operate their new purchase. Plus our service techs have years of experience in our industries.”
All of these departments working together puts Silica that much further ahead. “Our delivery team lets our sales team know that their customers are completely taken care of after they have finished a delivery,” Schneider added. “Our service techs talk to our sales staff and inform them of how the different products are performing for our customers. It’s a win-win for the consumer and Silica, having everyone part of the Silica family.”
Customer service with friendly, knowledgeable staff will keep winning customers for generations to come. “At the end of each day, we want to be able to look back at the day and know our customers are satisfied. That is what keeps business alive and growing,” Schneider said.