PROGRESS 2021: Rose Creek Strong
Ulven Power and Sport keeping community powered
For several years in Rose Creek, the name Ulven was associated with Ulven Hardware, owned by Fred Ulven since 1972. Ulven Hardware closed its doors last year, but the Ulven name still remains in Rose Creek at Ulven Outdoor Power.
Opened in February 2020 by Fred’s son, Jamey Ulven, Ulven Outdoor Power specializes in outdoor power equipment.
“I had purchased this the first of the year from the plumber that retired,” Jamey said of the business. “When the hardware store closed in February, I was able to slide over here and keep doing what I was doing.”
Although many were saddened by the closing of Ulven Hardware, the Rose Creek community embraced the new business.
“The reception was excellent,” Jamey said. “It was sad to see Ulven Hardware close; it had been there a long time and was kind of a staple in the community. But, small town hardware stores struggle, so as far as the community goes, it was excellent.”
Opening just before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a challenge due to product availability.
“I think when (COVID) first started, there were so many people staying at home and they were buying stuff to be outdoors,” Jamey said. “At that time, I couldn’t get a whole lot of stuff and that was difficult. Now it’s gotten better. COVID has obviously hurt a lot of businesses, but I don’t think so much this style of business.”
Despite the difficulty, Jamey credits his “excellent” customer base with keeping Ulven Outdoor Power open during the height of the pandemic. Business has come from all over, including Austin, Adams and northern Iowa, as well as area tree services.
“If it weren’t for my customers, I probably wouldn’t be here, especially trying to start this during COVID last spring,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy thing to do; trying to get a product was tough – it still is now – but for the most part they all waited patiently. I’m sure I lost a few customers in the mix, but you can’t expect everything to stay the same.”
Ulven Outdoor Power offers numerous products, with Stihl products being the top selling items.
“We had Stihl in Ulven Hardware for almost 40-something years and there’s an excellent customer base,” Jamey said. “I didn’t want to run out of those people. There are not that many guys around here who do the small engine stuff, so it felt like the right thing to do.”
“I’ve been adding stuff in here and there, little by little,” he added. “If people need something or want something, like LP tanks, it’s a nice thing for people to grab on a Friday night if they need something and they’re this far away from Austin. I’ll keep adding things as time goes on, but I need to get my feet back under me.”
Ulven Outdoor Power also offers repair services for snowmobiles and chain sharpening.
“We do just about anything – snowmobiles, snow blowers, anything like that,” Jamey said.
Jamey added that he takes pride in his customer service.
“I stand behind anything I sell or repair,” he said. “I’m fair to anybody as far as price goes. I do one thing here and that’s repair and service. I think that’s my biggest plus.”
Ulven Outdoor Power is located at 107 Third St. South in Rose Creek. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. They can be reached at 507-433-8245.