Life of an independent honored in Chicago

Stanley Kustra was a beloved figure in the Windy City's Puerto Rican community and a strong hardware store competitor who survived the big-box expansion.

According to an article on, Kustra’s life and career at Joe’s Hardware were recognized by an honorary street sign and a celebration last month. Kustra died in March at the age of 55.

Kustra, whose ancestry was Polish, adapted to the changing demographics of the Humboldt Park neighborhood, learning to speak Puerto Rican and contributing to numerous local events.

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