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Army veteran unveils new Zootown Hardware and Garden in Missoula, MT.

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Zootown Hardware and Garden, Missoula, Mt., has been opened by Damon Leishman, who will also serve as general manager.

A week after “soft opening,” the store held an official grand opening on April 12.

Stocked through Do it Best to maximize buying power, the store carries about 15,000 SKUs across its 5,000-sq. ft. showroom and 10,000-sq. ft. garden center. It has a staff of 16.

After he spent more than 20 years serving in the U.S. Army, Leishman and his family were ready to return to their Montana roots. 

With an Ace Hardware and big-box home centers on the other side of town, Leishman wants to position his business as a “complement” more than competition, focusing more on professional products, including lumber, tools, paint, concrete and garden supplies. A rental department will offer higher-skill equipment.

Until the 1990s, the location at the Southgate Mall had served as an Ernst Home Center, after which the mall converted it to a storage facility.