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Clark Farm and Home Store, more than just a hardware store

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s Jim Fink’s philosophy in life and business.

Fink owns Clark Farm and Home Store in Strong City. The True Value store, located at 4th & Cottonwood, is a seasoned establishment filled from floor to ceiling with hardware, home goods and anything a person might need.

After a storm rolled through the county on the evening of April 7, Clark’s had locals coming in to get various supplies to make next-day repairs. Fink his wife, Glenda, along with a few other employees were on their feet all morning and afternoon gathering parts, cutting chain and most importantly, caring for customers.

“If somebody walks through the doors of this store, once we get to waiting on that person, that person is the most important customer all day long until they’re completed,” Fink said.

Charles Pretzer, a local and frequent Clark’s customer, stopped in to Clark’s to pick up some chain links. At a hardware store in a more urban location, Pretzer could be in and out in 20 minutes. In Clark’s however, Pretzer rested on one of two barstools near the register for more than an hour and bantered with all the folks that came in.

“I’ve known Jim since high school,” said Pretzer. “He’s honest, trustworthy and if Clark’s don’t have it, you don’t need it.”

Being a fifth-generation resident of Chase County with more than 30 years of experience as a handyman, Fink knows his craft. Clark Farm and Home has been open for more than 70 years, but Fink and Glenda purchased it in 1988. For the foreseeable future, Clark’s is a business that will remain for the use of Chase County residents.

One of Fink’s proudest moments was when his son, Dusty, decided to quit his traveling construction job to return and work at Clark’s.

“Now that he is back, he will continue to keep this store in operation,” Jim Fink said. “And it is necessary for a small, rural community.”

The goal is that Dusty will take over Clark’s when Jim and Glenda are ready to retire. Until then, the Fink family will continue to serve the Chase County community day and (sometimes) night.

— Kristin Khosravipour