Manny Franquinha, founder of Crest Hardware & Urban Garden Center in Brooklyn, has died at the age of 89.
He passed on Sunday, July 9, according to a post on the retailer's Facebook page. Crest Hardware also announced plans to close this Friday, July 14 to honor his legacy, as well as observe his funeral.
"We've lost a legend," wrote current owner, Joseph Franquinha, in a Facebook post. "My father, community pillar and founder of Crest Hardware & Urban Garden Center, Manny Franquinha has passed on at the age of 89. He was a gentleman and a true businessman throughout his entire career. Kind and civic minded through to his final days."
"Long live Manny, and may we carry the torch even half as far as he did and with as much enthusiasm for life, work and family," he added.
Crest Hardware was the recent subject of a profile in HBSDealer, which highlighted Manny's early influence on the store, as well as his tendency to unite the disparate elements in his community. In the 90s, the store became ground zero for a community art show that featured the work of local artists.
“My dad always joked that the only way you could tell the difference between hardware and art was the price tag,” said Joseph. “And this was his way of establishing a relationship with the new wave of residents. You had the contractor and electrician right beside the art history major appreciating art in Aisle 2, and Crest became common ground for that.”