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8-year-old waits on hardware store customers
Schempers register .jpg
Schemper’s (ACE) Hardware Store in Ripon has a new employee at the cash register — 8-year-old Noah Schemper — pictured selling a power drill to a customer in his grandfather’s store.

Noah Schemper is like many young hires — eager to learn, courteous, and hardworking.

What sets him apart is his age. Noah is only 8 years old.

Noah, who starts the third grade next week at Ripon Christian Elementary School, is a willing member of the (ACE) Schemper’s Hardware store staff in downtown Ripon by his own choosing.  

The youngster rode with the family as part of the Grand Marshal float in the Almond Parade back at the end of February and was given his red Schemper’s uniform T-shirt at that time with a small inscription across the lower half reading, “Future Employee.”

Asked when he decided he wanted to go to work in the store at such a young age, Noah said he was riding his bike around the neighborhood recently and just wondered if his Grandpa Schemper might need his help at the store.  Noah headed over to ACE on Wilma Avenue at Main Street and offered his services.  Grandpa took him seriously and put him to work from 8 to 10 a.m. daily and the youngster couldn’t be more ecstatic with his position.  He has asked to work until 11 thinking two hours just isn’t enough to be on the job.  

“I did get into trouble for biking over here without letting my mother know,” Noah said. 

“I like working on the register the best,” he said,

Customers are surprised at seeing the young boy there conducting himself in a professional manner as he waits on them.  Noah said his most exciting moment was during his first few days when he sold a power drill to a customer that cost a lot of money — $199.  

Noah’s number one mentor and coach is definitely his grandmother Jill Hoag Schemper who couldn’t be more proud to see her little guy meeting customers face to face when they enter the store.

Jill has a special lower drawer in her kitchen for her grandchildren filled with special treats and they all know just where it is when they go to visit.  

The entire staff also keeps an eye on Noah and backs him up if it looks like he needs their help.  He wears a black two-way radio bud in his ear so he can call on others if he has a question from a customer that he can’t answer.

Asked what he first says to customers coming into the hardware store, Noah replied, “I just ask how I can be of help to them and take them into the store.”  

He added that if he is busy with another customer he just tells a second customer, “I’ll be right with you after I finish with this customer.”  

Noah thinks he might also take after his other grandpa, CPA Tom Vermeulen, because he likes working with numbers as well, so very much so on the cash register.

“I’m really good at it,” he said.

Grandpa Schemper said Noah is especially good at selling air filters and hand-held fertilizer spreaders. 

Thinking ahead, Noah said he hopes “to turn the hardware store into a kids’ working place – a work experience class – and I’m going to be the teacher.”

To contact Glenn Kahl, email