For much of his young adult life, Mike Huston saw the United States through the windshield of the semi he drove to make a living.
“I’ve been all over the United States,” said Huston.
Yet, for him, Minnesota is home. Having spent most of his early life in Minneota, Huston finished his high-school experience in Wood Lake.
The road then called, and he saw the best of the best that the U.S. had to offer.
In the end, when the time came to settle down and raise a family he opted for something closer to home. Huston and his wife settled in the Belview community determining it was the place for them.
“From the beginning of our time in Belview, the people have been so helpful and very welcoming,” said Huston. “We moved here six years ago, and that has not changed.”
Having purchased a home and a main street storefront in Belview, Huston was looking for an opportunity that would allow him to stay home. Conversations with friends led Huston to an idea that has become his business – Hardware Liquor of Belview.
In the building that once housed a long-time Belview hardware store, Huston opened up an off-sale liquor store, and paying homage to the history of the community, he settled on a name.
“We struggled at first to come up with a name,” Huston admitted, but in the end when a friend brought up the idea of Hardware Liquor the name made sense. “It just fit perfectly.”
So in September 2016, Huston opened the liquor store in Belview and began to see immediate support from the residents of Belview, as well as the surrounding area, and more than a year after opening Huston said business continues to do every well.
“It took us almost two years to get the building refurbished,” said Huston. “We did it in stages.”
It is because of the support of the community that Huston was able to open up the store and can keep it open to provide what people want.
“The local support has been overwhelming,” said Huston. “It is the people here who helped to make Hardware Liquor what it is today.”
In addition to traditional hard liquor and beer offered for sale, Huston said he is able to offer items with a local connection, as he sells wine from both the Grandview Valley and Heaven’s Gate wineries of Belview at the store.
“A lot of my inventory is based on what the people who come to the store want,” said Huston. “If what you want is something special I have never heard of before, I can still get it for you.”
When the Minnesota legislature opted to legalize the sale of alcohol on Sundays, Huston jumped on what he considered an opportunity to expand his customer base.
“We have been open Sundays since it became legal,” said Huston, adding that has drawn people from an even wider base to his store.
Today Hardware Liquor is open Monday through Friday from 12-10 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Huston said what he thinks separates him from others is good prices on what he has for sale, adding many have commented that what he charges is very competitive compared to others in the region.
Huston and his wife have three children, and at this point Huston said the store is run by himself and his daughter. However, Huston said in the not-too-distant future there are plans to add on another employee. That is a sign business is going well.
Huston said he is glad his family settled in Belview, adding it has been an ideal location for them and to operate a business.
“The people here have been so good to us,” Huston said. “Everyone in town is so willing to help.”
They are also very willing to support local businesses, which Huston said continues to convince him they picked the right place to call home.
“We are here to stay,” said Huston.