Business of the Month – Porter’s Building Center

The Kearney Chamber of Commerce was very happy to select Porter’s Building Center, as the Business of the Month for September 2016. Here’s our interview with Natalie Porter:  

Q. Porter’s Building Center has been in Kearney ever since I have been here. When did you first open up in Kearney?
June of 1952

Q. Do you have Building Centers in other areas and if so where are they located?
Kearney, Cameron, Laurie, Elwood KS

Q. How did Porter’s Building Center come to be?

Mack and Mary Helen Porter
Mack and Mary Helen Porter

The story of Porters Building Centers starts all the way back in 1952 as Kearney Lumber Company. Mack Porter, founder of the business, had been teaching High School in Highland, Kansas for three years. He taught math, science, and was the head coach for all three sports offered. He decided if he was going to work that hard for not much pay, he was going to work for himself.

Mack and his wife, Mary Helen, cashed in what he saved from teaching and what she saved from working at the local hardware store in Highland. They moved to Kearney, Missouri and started renting an abandoned lumberyard which at the time was being used as housing for hogs, chickens, and mules! What they didn’t know when deciding a tentative opening date, was that on that day, they would give birth to their first son Craig. So, literally from the first day open, Porters has always been about the small town, local family.

Q. What would you say is unique about your business?
We are one of two businesses than were in business in 1952 that are still operated by the same family, in Kearney

Q. Fall is just around the corner! Do you have any ads or specials coming up you’d like to tell us about?
We have sales on a continuing and monthly basis, between ACE nationally advertised sales as well as local to our location.

Q. Anything else you’d like to share?
Many people do not know or realize that we are Ace Hardware dealers.

Porter's Building Center Staff

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