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Thread: Miss the Mom and Pop Hardware stores

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Northeast Ohio
    Thereís a small hardware store about 10 min from me that has an amazing selection of hardware. The hardware section isnít all that big, but they sure cram a lot of product in a couple aisles. I really try to make them my first stop, but itís 10 min out of the way to then go on to big box store if they donít have something for plumbing or a tool, so I use my judgement depending on the project. My usual go to is ace and Home Depot for the big stuff
    Then about 30-40 min away I have Hartville Hardware (Tool), but itís only special trips I make out there. Too long of a drive for the weekend project.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Toronto Ontario
    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Calow View Post
    If you want to see real old-fashioned throwback, visit the Harry J Epstein hardware store right in the heart of the Kansas City, MO downtown business district. Been there since 1933 and looks like it. All those old-fashioned nooks and crannies of hard-to-find stuff and decent new things too. They do online sales but the store is a treat - even smells like an old hardware store.
    Stan, that reminds me of Aikenhead's in downtown Toronto, several floors (strip hardwood and creaky) filled with everything you needed.
    Fasteners were in a huge cabinet with wood drawers, buy a handful of screws or nails, weighed on a scale and put in a paper bag.

    Our first BORG in Toronto was named Aikenhead's, they bought the name from the family, and eventually it became Home Depot.

    I sure miss the real Aikenhead's........Rod.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    The Hartland of Michigan
    My fave hdwr stores are a local Rural King, and a store up at the tip-top of the Michigan thumb, Port Austin Hardware.
    That place will boggle the mind. They have everything hardware.
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  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Medina Ohio
    I am fortunate to have 5 very good hardware stores within an hour of me. We have Hartville hardware, Kiem lumber, Medina Hardware and McMaster Carr.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Anaheim, California
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    I am fortunate to have 5 very good hardware stores within an hour of me. We have Hartville hardware, Kiem lumber, Medina Hardware and McMaster Carr.
    Calling McMaster Carr a "hardware store" is like calling Jeff Bezos a "small business owner".

    (Not that that's a bad thing, mind you: I'm close enough to their SoCal warehouse that pretty much everything is next-day delivery.)
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    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
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  6. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    LOL, yea, McMaster Carr is certainly the king of "hardware" relative to selection. If they don't have it, it's probably something pretty darn unusual.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Princeton, NJ
    Blog Entries
    I use McMaster often, I’ve all but stopped using Amazon and typically just go direct to the retailer selling whatever product I’m looking for.

    I like how easily I can search for things on McMaster, it’s intuitive.

    I also use MSC on occasion, they are fine and carry some brands that McMaster doesn’t.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Northern California
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    It is hard to find someone who wants to put in the time and effort to do what is needed to run a hardware emporium like we knew 50 years ago.

    One of my favorite hardware stores to stop in has been for sale for years. They have many products no longer available on display including an early Stanley #45.

    The store is said to be profitable. There just aren't a lot of people who want to live in the rural mountain area of Northern California.

    Looks like they had a bout with the covid there >

    Something for an ambitious youngster.

    Dunsmuir is a lovely old railroad town. Been there a number of times. An acquaintance had a very good Italian restaurant there but sold it. Tough business. If I was 30-40 years younger Iíd consider buying that hardware store. There are worse ways of passing the years and earning a living. Ah, the stuff of youthful dreams.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Highland MI
    Blog Entries
    I feel bad for those that lost their business due to the influx of the big box stores, but I don't miss them, I have moved on. Most of the really good mom and pop hardware stores are still in my area. I am as likely to go to one of my local Ace stores 3 miles away as HD or Lowes which are 5 miles further, but on my frequently travelled route.
    NOW you tell me...

  10. #40
    The mom and pop's are also part of the global market like everything else. With overhead and purchasing power, some of them simply can't compete. They survive on loyal customers who prefer not to patronize big corps and willing to pay more.

    I remember needing some PVC fittings went to my local Ace no joke they were 5X the price of HD. I mean they could be buying their stock from HD!!!

    However, the lumber is fairly competitive, and considering you drive through and they load, worth the little extra cost.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    Blog Entries
    I remember needing some PVC fittings went to my local Ace no joke they were 5X the price of HD. I mean they could be buying their stock from HD!!!
    My tendency is to mention this to either the oldest employee or whoever looks to be a manager. Often at the local ACE Hardware before it closed they could adjust the price.

    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 03-31-2021 at 2:44 PM.
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