Bud Schemper retired from Schemper’s Ace Hardware after 48 years.

He stepped down from the family-owned business in Ripon on March 31, celebrating and sharing his farewell day with free cake, snacks and other goodies with those who stopped in.

“What I’ll miss most is the people – our customers – and staff,” Schemper said on his last day of work.

He started in the family business during the summer of his sophomore year at Ripon High. Prior to that, Schemper worked in the bike shop as an eighth grader.

“This can’t be your last day – you’re too young to retire,” said one of his longtime customers.

Schemper, however, indicated that his initial plan was to step down at the end of 2021 after the family business switched ownerships to the Swanson family of Escalon.

He agreed to stay on upon the Swansons opening the new Strand Ace Hardware in Manteca. The former Orchard Supply Hardware, which stood vacant for a few years, took six months of work and training to finally get business up and operating.

The grand opening was held in early March.

Chris Swanson, who is second generation of the family hardware business, had acquired the Ripon business months earlier.

Back in October, Schemper’s Ace Hardware announced via social media the change of ownership to the Swansons of Escalon.

Outside of a possible name-change – plans call for the Schemper name will soon become ‘Strand Ace Hardware’ – not much will change per day-to-day operation, Bud Schemper noted.

According to the Schemper’s Ace Hardware Facebook page: “Our relationship with the Swanson family dates back to the 1970s. They are local, community-minded and have similar values. We are confident in their ability to continue serving the community well into the future.”

In 1975, the Swansons took over Strand Ace Hardware in Escalon, and now has expanded their operations to four locations – Modesto is the other one.

Meanwhile, Schemper’s Ace Hardware, 150 N. Wilma Ave., has been at its current 20,000-square-foot building with 14,000 of that being dedicated to retail space since 2005.

This is the fourth location of the Ripon business that kicked off in 1954 by Bud’s uncle John Schemper and grandfather John Schemper.

As for Bud Schemper, he’s looking forward to his spending his retirement years fishing, golfing and traveling on vacations.