Pearl Brothers offers hometown service
Pearl Brothers Hardware store in Joplin, Mo., has been around since 1905, although it has not always in the same location that is today.
The actual Pearl brothers originally opened the hardware store at 2nd and Main in Joplin. The initial store opened as a hardware store offering sporting goods and a pawn shop.
In 1949, father and son Jake and Joseph Berger, businessmen from Kansas City, Mo., who moved to the area and purchased the store. They did not make any name changes since it was a well-established business. In 1964, they moved the business to the location where it is today on Joplin’s Main Street, and joined True Value for which the name today is known as Pearl Brothers True Value Hardware. With this change, they were no longer a pawn shop, nor did they offer sporting goods because many other larger retailers coming to the area offered sporting goods. Later, they added a large room providing a much more open area to expand their product selection.
Today, Harold Berger, the grandson and son of Jake and Joseph Berger, is the owner and manager of Pearl Brothers True Value Hardware. Harold was always involved with the business growing up. He graduated with a business degree from University of Missouri-Columbia in 1977 and came back to help his dad run the store.
“I never knew to do anything different than help with the family business,” he said.
Harold displays a picture in his office of Paul Harvey talking with his father at the hardware store. Paul Harvey used to be a spokesperson for True Value and stopped by the store once when he was speaking in the Joplin area.
Harold’s grandfather Jake passed away when Harold was young, but his dad Joseph was still coming down to the store to help until a few days before he passed away at the age of 92.
“He would come to the store and just talk to people. That’s what kept him going,” Harold recalled.
Pearl Brothers True Value Hardware has always been locally, and family owned and is proud to provide great customer service, as well as free nearby parking for customers. They offer a large selection of housewares and small appliances, as well as electrical and plumbing supplies and hardware. They carry a lot of lawn and garden supplies, and have a large area with patio and outdoor furniture, which has been a huge part of their business in the summertime.
“When you buy from us, your tax money stays in Joplin,” Harold said. “It’s an easier trip than the big box stores. We can find the items for our customers to make for a quick and easy shopping trip if that is what the customer desires. Some customers do not want to walk through a big box store, they want to get in and out.”
The Joplin downtown area where the hardware store is located has really become very prosperous again
“You have a lot of apartments and they are building the new courthouse and the Center for the Arts here. It’s going to attract a lot of people to downtown Joplin in a few years,” Harold said.
Even though the store is not in the center of Joplin, Harold said their location has worked for a lot of years.
“We do our own thing and I’m satisfied with the way it is.” They have always supported local groups as much as they can.
“During the pandemic, people learned they could work in their yard and sit out on their patio and repair this or that. We draw people within a 50-mile radius which is about 350,000 people. We have a lot that travel to shop here, including many all over the four states.”
Many of their employees have worked at the store well over 30 years. Their employees know their products and can offer personal service to help customers find what they are looking for whether it be a unique gift, everyday product or small appliance or hardware item.