For the past 31 years, Pat’s Home Center has built its name as a family run hardware and lumberyard business. In 1984, Pat Vince and his wife opened a store in St. Francisville, which led to a Clinton location in 1995.
In 2002, their two sons, Darrin and Kevin, expanded their father’s store in St. Francisville. With two successes, the Vinces decided to expand further.
It was not until 2005 that the first Central store came to fruition. Though Pat considered opening the store in Mandeville, Darrin pushed for Central.
“I did a bunch of research and decided Central was where we wanted to go… Here you have a full mix of people and it’s a lot of remodeling, a lot of older houses, but also some newer houses in there,” Darrin said, “So we opened up a place at Hooper and Sullivan, remodeled the building, and outgrew it, really within a few years.”
A decade later, Pat’s Home Center constructed a much needed new and improved building on Sullivan Road, not far from the original Central location. “I really like the way the store looks,” Darrin said, “It’s easier to work now.”
For Darrin, the most important thing is finding good people that want to work. “If you have the right people you can do anything,” he said. To ensure quality service and increase attention to detail, Darrin and his brother focus on different commodities: Darrin on hardware and Kevin on lumber.
As a family business, Darrin and his brother have learned the importance customer service and dedication to work ethic, much of which they learned from their father.
“If you locked the doors at 5:30 and somebody was knocking on the door, you stayed,” Darrin said, “You opened the door and let them in and did what you needed to do… If you tend to your business and you tend to your customers, it all works out.”
Among its three stores, Pat’s employs approximately 45 people. Each store is unique in its demands depending on the needs of its customers. “I sell a lot more LSU stuff here than in St. Francisville,” Darrin said, “And I sell more garbage cans in St. Francisville than I do here.” For each difference, Pat’s strives to cater to its customers.
From its beginnings as a simple hardware store, Pat’s has undergone a substantial evolution. “We have just about everything,” Darrin said, “We grow every year. We’re picking up some different appliances.” Though Darrin is uncertain if Pat’s will expand to a new location, he is determined to maintain and cultivate the customer service and product of the three stores.