Simsbury Small Business Spotlight is a new weekly feature that will highlight a vital piece of the fabric of any small town—small businesses.
The following is an interview conducted with Melissa Brett, co-owner of Welden Hardware on Feb. 6 2013.
This week's spotlight business was recommended by Simsbury Main Street Partnership.
When did your business open? Is it locally-owned?
Originally in 1885, owned by Samuel T Welden. Has always been locally owned and operated by a Simsbury resident (not related to the Welden family). We took ownership in 2004, and we are long-term residents as well.
What types of services/products do you offer?
We are a full service hardware store, from nuts & bolts, to grills and mowers. We also have on site a full power equipment repair shop, a glass & screen shop, as well as various rentals. We are staffed with experienced employees from the construction, electrical and paint industries with over 75+ years of combined experience. We carry almost everything, from Automotive to Weatherstripping and everything in-between. We are authorized dealers in the following lines: Alliance dealer for Weber Grills, Toro, Husqvarna, Westinghouse generators, Billy Goat, TroyBilt, Shindaiwa, just to mention a few. We also offer free battery recycling (from AA batteries to car batteries), as well as free propane tank recycling.
Is there a local business that you think should be featured in Simsbury Small Business Spotlight? Tell us about it in the comments.
Why did you decide to open your business in Simsbury?
John, my husband, worked at Welden Hardware for many years before the prior owner approached us to purchase the business. We wanted to remain local, and be a part of this community. Being small business owners has allowed us to stay in town and be a blessing to our neighbors.
What is your mission/goal as a Simsbury business owner?
Our motto "At Your Service" is more than a catch phrase, but a way of business that we, and all our staff, strive to achieve everyday. Be it searching through our hundreds of nuts & bolts for a customer, to walking someone through on how to fix their toilet, we want to be able to help out each and every customer with their needs. We also desire to know our customers, just not with their current projects, but as neighbors. Having our kids grow up through, and having been active with, the Simsbury school systems (currently a son at SHS 11th grade and a daughter at HJMS in 7th grade), as well as living here since 1990 (and my husband grew up in Simsbury), we want everyone that comes through our doors feel like they are known by their name, their kids, or even through their dogs (we have our corgi, Gracie, here every day).
How did you get you start?
My husband started working here in 1988 after college and was manager by the time the prior owner (and still residing in Simsbury) was ready to sell/retire. I was working as a Systems Manager in Hartford, but we had 2 small children and desired to be more part of our town, and our kids' lives. This store was the perfect fit. Since John knew the business, and I had office and computer knowledge, we knew this would fit. All of our staff are Simsbury residents as well.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Although we look like a small store, we have over 17,000 items in stock (not including all our nuts, bolts & screws). We always try to stock relevant products as well as hard-to-find and specialty items. Being on a one-way side street hasn't always been easy to attract new customers. But we often tell people, give us a try once, and we think you will become a customer for life. I also am the vice president of Simsbury Main Street Partnership. We create 5 minute how-to videos in conjunction with Simsbury Community TV that can also be viewed on our website or YouTube channel. Also, last year, we opened a 2nd business, Dynamic Power, located on Route 4 in Burlington, CT which is an outdoor power equipment dealer in sales & service.
Business: Welden Hardware
Owners: John & Melissa Brett
Address: 10 Station Street, Simsbury Center
Phone number: 860-658-4078
Hours: M-F: 8-5:30, Sat 8-5, Sun 9-1