MILO, Maine — Starting in April, when Milo area residents purchase their hardware and building supplies locally, they also will help local charities.
Brian Grosse of Boston, owner of the Ox Yoke building in Milo, plans to open a Do It Best hardware and building supply store on April 15 on the first floor of the building. Grosse said he intends to give a percentage of his profits to the region. Do It Best is considered the world’s largest hardware store, with more than 4,400 stores nationwide.
“I hope to create some jobs and give back to the community,” Grosse, who has a seasonal home in Lakeview Plantation, said Friday.
Grosse said he wanted to bring business to the community, especially after a fire destroyed the downtown section that included the town’s only hardware store. He said he reached out to Milo Town Manager Jeff Gahagan and Thomas Kittredge of Piscataquis County Economic Development to determine what was needed most in the town.
“I’m very excited about the prospect of a new business opening up in town,” Gahagan said Friday. He praised Grosse for including town and county officials in his business decisions.
Grosse said local contractors are at work now renovating the 12,000 square feet on the first floor of the building, which also will carry housewares, sporting goods, and canoe and kayak rentals. The store will be heated by a pellet stove and the pellets will be purchased from a Maine manufacturer, he said. Grosse plans to have a table near the stove to create a space where people can play board or card games.
Keeping it as local as possible, Grosse said he has hired Brett Moses of Brownville as general manager and has hired two of the former Milo True Value store employees. He said he offered to hire John Crossman, the former True Value store owner, as a consultant, but Crossman would only volunteer his help.
“I’m happy to see the building’s going to be back in operation and occupied,” Grosse said. “I want the building to be used.”