K&K Hardware: The downtown Bettendorf staple serving generations

There are so many things to catch your eye as you walk into K&K Hardware, located at 1818 Grant St.

Rows of gleaming barbecue grills of all sizes by Weber and Traeger await summer offerings of steaks, burgers and chicken. Don’t forget the dozens of spices, rubs, marinades and sauces that are featured in K&K’s expansive outdoor section. Accent your meal with one of a variety of popular Amish-made salsas, relishes and jams. Wash it all down with a frosty bottle of root beer, one of dozens of Mom & Pop sodas lined up near the store entrance.

Wait! This is a hardware store?

There’s a reason the venerable downtown Bettendorf business carries the slogan “K&K Hardware … and so much more.”

Casey Keller, store manager and co-owner, said he’s heard the adage, “If K&K didn’t have it, you don’t need it.”

The electronic sign outside the store sends this greeting: “Hello Spring. Glad to see you.” And, indeed, spring is bursting out all over the store. The automatic sliding doors are in motion constantly, as customers of all ages walk in for the paint, tools, cleaning products, bird seed, electrical and plumbing equipment, grass seed and lawn equipment. Need your lawn mower or window screen repaired? This is the place to come.

When customers walk into K&K, they don’t get far before a team member offers their help.

“Ever since my grandpa (Boyd Keller) started this in 1940, customer service has been the highest priority,” Casey says. “Whether you’re 18 or whether you’re 74, when you go into a hardware store, it’s nice to be able to have somebody who can help you, take you right to the item, and then give you some explanation of how to use it or how to finish your project.”

While the majority of K&K’s customers live within five miles of the store, Casey said, “it’s not uncommon for us to get customers into the store who live 45 minutes away. Plenty of times, we’ve put a grill in the back of someone’s truck, and they told us they were driving 40 miles home. This speaks volumes to previous generations and the brand they established.”

The business is firmly rooted in the downtown area.

“We’re excited to see what is happening in downtown Bettendorf,” Casey said. “The City and invested stakeholders have put in a lot of money in planning to help revitalize downtown. We’ve been very appreciative of that.”

Besides Casey, four other members of the Keller family are actively involved in the business – his parents, Don Keller, co-owner, and Coleen Keller, Chief Financial Officer; and his sisters, Kortney Gaura, office manager and co-owner; and Kristi Cady, Mower Shop manager and co-owner.

Supporting the Bettendorf community is very important to the family.

“It’s one of our core items, one of the pillars that we build our business off of – integrity, customer service, community focus and family focus.” That’s the K&K story. Find out more at kkhardware.com.

  • Food trucks will return to the K&K parking lot this season! La Flama has been confirmed for Tuesdays and Thursdays, Q.C. Fork in the Road will serve on Mondays and Flavor Train will be there on Wednesdays. Check the K&K Facebook page for information to come on other vendors to be scheduled.
  • K&K carries the popular cleaning product The Pink Stuff, which has been a social media sensation.
  • What are the most popular of the old-time soda pops that K&K carries? Dad’s Root Beer, Fitz’s Root Beer, all flavors of Crush, Route 66 Root Beer and all flavors of Frosty.
  • K&K has many long-time employees, including Russ Kehn in the Lumber Department, who’s worked there for 52 years.