POCOPSON — A manager of Brandywine Ace Pet and Farm is starring in several national commercials to promote the franchise’s brand.
Recently Ace Hardware, with more than 5,000 stores worldwide, has run several commercials featuring Alex Pyle this year including one addressing the COVID-19 national crisis. Most of the stores, like Brandywine Ace Pet & Farm, are independently owned.
“Every day is a different adventure here,” said Pyle of Brandywine Ace Pet and Farm in Pocopson, where he’s been working since 2013 and today runs its hardware division as a store manager.
Pyle, a resident of London Grove Township who lives between Avondale and West Grove boroughs, attended Upland as a child and graduated high school in 1998 from West Nottingham Academy in Colora, Maryland. He then earned a bachelor of science degree in business from Adelphi University in New York where he also minored in marketing.
Brandywine Ace Pet & Farm is owned by the Drennen family. The family also owns and runs Oxford Grain & Hay Co. and Oxford Feed & Lumber in southern Chester County and the boutique store Pets & Friends in Penn Township.
The motto of Ace is: "Always open, always essential. Forever helpful."
He’s filmed multiple commercials with Ace. His first commercial was shot last year in Chicago and just prior to the national crisis declared on March 13, he traveled to Florida to film scenes for additional commercials. The most recent shoot lasted three days and Pyle was one of 25 employees selected nationwide out of 5,000 stores.
For decades, his family owned the hardware store Plye’s Home Supply on Route 41 in London Grove near Avondale. The local store closed in 2009.
Under Gov. Tom Wolf's ongoing emergency orders, Brandywine Ace Pet & Farm is an ‘essential’ business and has remained open to the public during the ongoing national crisis.
“There’s a lot of things that goes on in the story,” Plye said. “There’s a lot of neat events that we have going on here.” Prior to the national crisis, events included ladies and gentlemen nights and pet adoption days.
He said the story has been unbelievably busy, and vendors are near running out of inventory. “Home projects have kept our store very, very busy,” he said.
Pyle added that there are less people working at the store these days as many of the store’s older employees are staying home.
“I’m adopted,” Pyle said. “It’s been a huge opportunity to represent my family and to represent the Oxford Grain & Hay company that owns this store, and the Drennen family. They have really been behind me, just supporting me. It’s been great to have their backing and for them to allow me to do this. I want to give them a lot of praise.”
"It's quite an honor for him and for our store," said owner Larry Drennen on Tuesday.
Drennen said Pyle interviewed and auditioned for the opportunity to star in the Ace's national commercials. "Alex's a very personable person. He's got a great smile. All the customers love working with Alex."
Business is overall good, Drennen said, adding that his stores are running at less capacity with 20 percent of his employees staying home during the last ten weeks.
"Overall, we're doing okay," he said.
"The customers appreciate us being open," Drennen said. "I always thank them for their patience. Overwhelmingly, our customers and the community have supported us being open for their needs."