For more than 40 years, Rick’s Hardware & Plumbing has served customers throughout the greater Dallas-Fort Worth market. Family owned, the staff at Rick’s — from the leadership through the warehouse — is focused on providing the best possible customer experience. They’re also known for their beautifully designed showrooms that display some of the leading brands of decorative plumbing and hardware.

These elements were central to the selection of Rick’s as LPG Showroom of the Year, an honor presented to them recently by LPG Director Jeff MacDowell during the LPG Spring Expo at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando.

“I was not expecting that,” said Arman DeLaughter, showroom director at Rick’s, “and I can’t begin to explain how good it feels. It means a lot to be recognized for the work we’ve put in. After getting the award, I immediately sent an email to our entire team of about 35 to thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

In presenting the award, MacDowell reflected: “Arman and his team not only hit every qualification to be named showroom of the year based on our criteria, but they made the decision easier based on the kind of people they are — kind, humble, passionate and eager to learn.  LPG is a better buying group because they are in it. I love what they bring to the table.”

Rick’s joined LPG three years ago, which DeLaughter says is the “best decision we’ve made.” He went on to note, “LPG serves its members with a similar passion as we serve our customers. It has a very high-quality group of approved vendors, and Jeff [MacDowell, LPG director] thinks outside the box — which is hard to do when things are going well.

“There is an amazing comfort level that LPG members have in discussing ideas and practices with each other. It’s a powerful thing in business when you can learn from your peers and vendors around the country. Those relationships and the knowledge we’ve gained, have been extremely advantageous for our business.”

Rick’s has three showrooms in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. DeLaughter describes the 4,000-square-foot Dallas showroom as having “an industrial boutique feel with some artwork and glamour filtered in.” The Grapevine showroom, which is in a new 4,500-square-foot building, has a modern look with concrete floors and gray walls. And in recent years they also opened a 2,000-square-foot traditional-style showroom in Granbury, which is a small community with a large number of lake houses and second “getaway” homes.

DeLaughter credits Rick’s owner Paul Tacker for creating a winning culture.

“His work ethic is inspiring and contagious to me and everyone in our company,” DeLaughter said. “He treats our team so well and makes it a fun environment for everyone to work — which then translates to making it an enjoyable experience for our customers. Paul goes over and beyond with our customers, because as he says, if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business.

“I’m so proud to be a part of such a great group of people at Rick’s. They come in every day with positive attitudes and are very loyal. Every person makes a difference — we can sell all day long, but if we don’t pull orders right, follow up, deliver on time, bill correctly, etc., we will not leave a good impression. Much of Rick’s business comes from referrals, which is very rewarding because it indicates we’ve done our job well with previous customers. Similarly, it is an honor to be recognized as showroom of the year by LPG. All of that motivates us to work even harder to serve our customers and represent LPG.”