AMES, Iowa — At O’Donnell Ace Hardware having products to sell, was never a problem until the pandemic hit in 2020. All of a sudden products which were no problem getting became hard to get.

“So last spring we stocked up on mowers we actually got into an extra shed to provide hopefully enough mowers in the spring to go throughout the season,” said Tausha Tjernagel, the store’s manager. “The year before we had probably 80% of the summer with no mowers.”

This year they had plenty, as they ordered around 50 mowers to have on hand. Now they’re into snow blower season. No one yet knows how much it will snow to drive demand for that product.

This summer, they were out of canning supplies for garden vegetables. Once the season ended, they got their order, and are now well stocked with all kinds of canning jars and lids.

“When we stock up we try to be logical about it and not go crazy,” said Tjernagel. “We can look at how much we sold a year before or even prior to the pandemic and we try to be logical about what we’re purchasing or what we’re back-ordering.”

Something that’s been hard to come by is high-temperature spark plugs for some of the chainsaws they sell.

“Be like NGK high temperatures spark plugs which are in all Stihl products, so we have no tuneup kits for any Stihl,” said Tjernagel. “They pulled all the spark plugs to make new units.”

The store has a hard time finding spray paint and many other aerosol products.