Old Man Winter usually makes his presence felt in February -- February 2021 was the coldest in the last 30 years. And with the cold come snow, frost and ice.
Kenwood True Value Hardware is Dracut Economic Development’s February Business of the Month – just in time to get in to buy the supplies you’ll need.
“We’re well-stocked with ice melt, shovels, ice scrapers and snow brushes,” says Dan Hardiman, general manager of Kenwood Hardware since 1993.
Dan cut his teeth in the business at AG Hardware on Lakeview Avenue in Lowell in the early 1990s after graduating from Dracut High School in 1984. Now in his 30th year at Kenwood Hardware, he has seen some changes, both in the industry and along the Broadway Road corridor that stretches from Arlington Street to the Methuen border. That area received a shot in the arm within the past decade or so with the addition of The Arbors Assisted Living and Circle Health Urgent Care.
Kenwood Hardware opened in 1986, just ahead of a growth spurt in the area that started with the building of Dracut Village Square plaza, home to M.L. Shaw’s and Scola’s, among many other businesses.
“This was a pretty desolate area over here when they opened,” Dan says.
William Renaud originally owned Kenwood Hardware along with Bridge Street True Value Hardware in neighboring Pelham, N.H., before Phil Kane bought both stores about three years ago.
Having a sister store just a couple miles up the road in tax-free Pelham means many people will forgo a trip to Kenwood Hardware for big-ticket items to save on the sales tax.
But Dan says Kenwood Hardware fills its own niche, with most folks coming for smaller items.
“Kenwood Hardware is for the folks who need batteries, bulbs, parts for small fixes around the house and, of course, the winter necessities,” he says.
“Paint is also a big seller at Kenwood Hardware, and we expanded that department when we knocked down the wall,” he adds.
That happened in 2021, after Laudi’s Breakfast House closed its doors adjacent to Kenwood Hardware, leaving room to expand.
Kenwood True Value Hardware has something Dan says the big-box department stores don’t have – personalized service.
“Customer service is number one,” he says. “We’ll cut glass for customers, fix lamps for people. There’s nothing we won’t do for customers.”
That’s why Kenwood Hardware bills itself as “Your local neighborhood hardware store with a little bit of everything.”
And Dan says that since Kenwood True Value Hardware predates many of the businesses in the immediate area, he has become well-known on the east side of town.
“I’m like the mayor of this side of town,” he says.
Call Kenwood True Value Hardware at 978-452-9009, or visit www.truevalue.com.