HARDWARE STORES

Life of an independent honored in Chicago

BY Ken Clark

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 WBEX.org, 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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Retirement leads to Louisiana store closing

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Shreveport Times reported that Centenary Hardware and Paint Co. is closing its doors.

The Louisiana business was established in 1947. Co-owners Bill and Charlotte Gates explained to the newspaper that the store’s inventory, after it is sold to a relative in the business, will fund their retirement.

Gates bought the business in 1978. 

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Historic hardware store looking for buyer

BY Brae Canlen

Aztec Hardware, a hardware store located in the four corners regions of New Mexico, will close this coming January unless the owner finds a new buyer, according to an article in the Farmington Daily News.

In operation since at least 1924, Aztec Hardware is operated by Joe McWilliams, who began working at the 5,000-sq.-ft. store when his father purchased it in 1971. McWilliams and his wife Vicki now run the operation but want to retire. The couple have two adult children, but neither is interested in taking over the business, according to the article.

The 58-year-old dealer said he’s open to selling or leasing the building for other uses. The business has been up for sale for years.

No one in town seems to know exactly how old the hardware store is, although it might date to the turn of the century. Located on Main Street, Aztec Hardware is part of the town’s State Historic District, which was added to the National Register in 1985.

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