Saturday, July 27, 2019 || By Shanel Romain || @maywoodnews
Siraj Bhanpuri, the owner of Broadview True Value Hardware, accepts a plaque from Chris Parker, the president of the Bellwood Chamber of Commerce, as Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough, third from left, and Maywood Clerk Viola Mims, right, look on. | Shanel Romain
Siraj Bhanpuri, 73, opened Broadview True Value Hardware, 1815 W. Roosevelt Rd. in Broadview, in 1986. Thirty-three years later — despite being just a mile away from Home Depot — he’s still around.
“This is a very good community,” Bhanpuri said on Saturday afternoon during a celebration of the milestone. “Even though we have competition with Home Depot and Menards, people in the community who work at home come to us, because they can always find what they want.”
Bhanpuri said he owned a grocery store before getting into the hardware business. He said the decision was motivated by his passion for fixing things.
“I wanted to do hardware, because I like to fix things,” he said. “Here, you can get tools and stuff for plumbing and heating. I show people how to do repairs and things like that. That’s what got me into the hardware business. And the town is amazing. I’ve received total support from the customers.”
Siraj Bhanpuri, center, with area elected officials and community leaders outside of his store on Saturday afternoon. | Shanel Romain
Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson’s office, along with area organizations, pitched tents in a parking lot across the street from True Value. Hot dogs and hamburgers sizzled on a grill. And local elected officials in Proviso Township, along with representatives from the Bellwood Chamber of Commerce, were on hand to honor Bhanpuri with a plaque for his service.
“True Value has not just served Broadview,” said Thompson. “The store has served all of Proviso Township. We’re doing this to highlight our businesses and to show that we’re a balanced community that has residential, commercial and industrial development — and True Value is a reflection of that diversity.
Siraj Bhanpuri with Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson, second from right, Broadview Trustee Verina Horne, far left, and Broadview Police officers during the community celebration of True Value’s 33rd year in business. | Shanel Romain
“As we improve the Roosevelt Road corridor, we want businesses to know that we’re staying with you 100 percent to make sure you’r sustainable and that your thrive in our community,” the mayor said.
For customers like Brian Dawnson, a longtime Broadview resident and member of the Lindop District 92 school board, True Value is a familiar community anchor.
“I grew up in Broadview and have been coming to this store since I was 10 and my dad would send me here to get screws and nails,” said Dawson, 45.
Bhanpuri, who operates the store with younger brother Randy Bhanpuri (“I wouldn’t know what to do without him,” Siraj said of his sibling), reiterated that his customers are his reason for being.
“Some of our customers tell us, ‘Never leave this place’ and ‘What will we do without you,’” Siraj Bhanpuri said. “It is not my service to them, but it is their support of me — that’ why I’m still here.” VFP
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