Utilizing experience as a renovation contractor, Troy moved into the retail industry to service the needs of contractors and home owners and apartment dwellers in the emerging home improvement industry. Knowing how all of the products were used and steps needed to complete renovation projects, Troy found tremendous success in managing the Washington Square Paint and Hardware retail store operation and in providing expert guidance to store customers over a 23-year time period before he took over the business from the retiring founder in 2007.
Troy, partnered with Steve DeShong to rebrand the store as 3rd Street Hardware bringing a more complete product line, technical knowledge and lower prices. The success in serving the needs of residents, business and contractors in the Washington Square West neighborhood have led to the expansion of the business to 153 N 3rd Street where 3rd Street Hardware will more closely serve the needs of the Old City, Society Hill and Northern Liberties communities. With the larger space on 3rd Street, Troy is planning the development of online and in person sessions to advise DIY consumers on common renovation projects.
After earning his Bachelor’s Degree and working for five years in Washington D.C., Steve launched a 30-year entrepreneurial career in Philadelphia beginning with Afterwords, a retail book, magazine, card and gift store on 12th Street, near Locust. The store grew and thrived for fourteen years, during which time he also opened a retail men’s clothing store. Steve later opened a plant and garden store which ultimately led to the launch in 2002 of Market Blooms in the Reading Terminal Market.
Steve turned over the Market Blooms business to the long-term manager so he can devote more time to expanding 3rd Street Hardware store that he owns with Troy Usnik. Steve has developed state-of-the-art approaches to inventory, ordering, pricing and customer service to bring a better shopping experience to the 10th Street Hardware customers. In October 2017, Hardware Retailing magazine published by the North American Retail Hardware Association featured Steve and 10th Street Hardware in a cover story highlighting the outstanding customer service and wide range of products delivered to the urban community. Steve is now bringing the successful consumer service model developed at 10th Street Hardware to 3rd Street Hardware with expanded programming available in a larger store.