It began in Pilot Grove in 1947 as Bill Stevens Zenith Sales and Service. According to Jim Vanderhoff’s recollections, the store moved to Boonville in the late 50s or early 60s. Somewhere along the line, appliances were added to the inventory. Jim grinned and said he couldn’t remember the exact year as he was only five or six at the time.
Vanderhoff recalls Fred Pepps being their competitor, selling Maytag wringer washers. When Pepps retired Stephens took over the Maytag dealership. It was also about the same time that Stephens sold out to LeRoy Vanderhoff, Bob Boss, and John Freeling.
In 1961, the store relocated to its current location at 310 Main St. City Tire & Electric was their next competitor.
By 1996, Vanderhoff was the sole owner and sold out to his son Jim Vanderhoff.
Stevens Appliance underwent another change in 2003. The business was purchased by Royce and Susan Palmer out of Columbia. The couple were already in the appliance business so it was a good fit.
When asked if the purchase had been a good investment, Palmer said, “It was a good investment at the time, and it’s still a good investment. Many local customers prefer shopping where they’ve always done business.”