After decades in business in downtown North Platte, Recognition Unlimited is preparing to close

After decades in business in Downtown North Platte, Recognition Unlimited is preparing to close
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:04 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Two pillars in the North Platte business community are holding a retirement sale as they prepare for a new chapter in their lives.

Ardyce and Rob Hodges have been married for 49 years as of June 2023. The couple has owned and operated Recognition Unlimted for decades. The company’s humble beginnings date back to 1981 with the couple offering engraving services out of their North Platte home.

Ron said the idea to start offering engraving services dates back to the early 1980s.

“We used to go to craft shows and we made toys out of wood and traveled the craft show circuit but I hated waiting on people,” Ron said. “I had a popular mechanic’s book that had an engraving machine in it, so I ordered that and set it up at the end of the table and I’d make name badges for exhibitors, it gave me something to do. People found out we were doing the engraving and they started coming to our home. Eventually, we were offered a spot downtown to try to start the business and it grew from there. It all comes with experience I was a little nervous when I started doing this at first but eventually it grew on me and I figured out how to lay it out with Adryce’s help we came up with layouts and things that looked nice.”

In 1984 the couple officially opened a location in downtown North Platte and came to their current location in the Parkade Plaza in the late 1999s.

“We’ve been working with each other since 1984, we have had employees that would come in and apply and say to us, your husband and wife, and you work together every day?! Yes, yes we do,” Ardyce said. “We each have our own specialties that we like to do but our skills overlap we each have our own thing we specialize in.”

After nearly 30 years in business, the Hodges have decided to officially usher in a new chapter with retirement, Ardyce said the decision is very bittersweet.

“What I enjoy are the customers, the ones I’ve served over the years, the loyal customers the new customers that come around and look, I just enjoy sharing with them what we can do and show them what we have here that they might be able to buy for a gift and helping with whatever their needs are,” Ardyce said. “That is what I’m going to miss, that kind of tugs at my heart.”

In their retirement years, the Hodges look forward to spending more time with their grandchildren and plan to continue some woodworking.

“We love woodworking, it’s a combined effort both of us get out there in the shop and work. So, we’ll just make little things, whatever we feel like, but we’re not going to make it a business, it’ll just be something to do,” Ron said.

“We’d just like to thank all the people that have done business with us over the years. We’ve really enjoyed working with them and we’re going to miss them,” Ardyce said.

The Recognition Retirement Sale will run throughout September and extend into October.