Faces of Arkansas: Congo Fireplace & Patio
Bryan & Tammy Maertens
As the largest hearth and patio store in Arkansas, Congo Fireplace & Patio in Benton specializes in wood stoves, fireplaces, gas logs, outdoor casual furniture, BBQ grills, smokers and outdoor kitchens. They even have more than 40 live burning displays so customers can see it before they buy it.
In 1919, owner Bryan Maertens’ grandfather, August Maertens, founded Congo Mercantile in a canvas tent after returning home from having served as a marine in World War I. Bryan’s parents, Robert and Tamara Maertens have successfully grown the business with Bryan joining in 1987.
What was once a one-stop local shop that sold cream, produce, eggs, fur and groceries has now evolved into the states’ premier hearth and patio shop. Their business model of old-fashioned southern hospitality, however, stays the same.
“When you take good care of folks, they will always come back and do business with you,” Bryan says.
Bryan, his wife Tammy and their three children enjoy spending family time at the lake, hunting, fishing and snow skiing which is part of what makes Congo Fireplace & Patio the perfect business for the outdoors-loving Maertens family.
Congo Fireplace & Patio – 501-316-4328 – congofp.com