[Beginning this week, we kicked off a column in Whiterock Weekly. We will be reprinting these in this forum each week or two, so that you might be able to comment, ask questions, or continue the discussion in some way. In addition, we will be adding posts and discussions not included in the paper, so check back often!]
(Not) Your Grandpa’s Hardware Store?
My wife, Jenn, and I want to introduce ourselves. At the first of the year, we were proud to open Stone’s Ace Hardware in the newly-renovated Casa View Shopping Center. While we have had the chance to meet many of our new neighbors, we would love to help out all of the great people in East Dallas. We think our little store offers something that is often lacking, yet more-and-more desired in our culture today: community.
The past few decades have brought with them myriad changes that have made our lives infinitely better, easier, and more enjoyable, but we’ve lost something along the way. We now have all of human history and thought at the touch of a button on our phones or computers. We can travel, whether virtually or in reality, to the ends of the Earth with relative ease. We don’t even have to leave the comfort of our air-conditioned homes to shop, get food, or even socialize with a worldwide community of “friends”. Progress and evolution are undoubtedly great, but there abides a nagging suspicion within many that these things have come at too high a cost, that we have sacrificed the intimacy of one-on-one interaction and community that are integral to our humanity.
Jenn and I aren’t naïve enough to believe that our little corner of the retail landscape is some sort of panacea. However, we are idealistic enough to believe we are a step in the right direction. Apart from meeting the building and home needs of the community, we are seeking to reignite that human connection that has sustained American commerce from its beginnings. The hardware store, as we see it, is a communal table of sorts, a place where everyone can gather, rub shoulders with their neighbors, and hopefully solve those basic problems that every homeowner or renter faces on a daily basis. We like to think that Stone’s Hardware embodies this principle.
So, we hope you’ll come by, have a beer at our Helpful Pub, maybe sit on the couch and watch a World Cup match, and let us help you with that project you’ve been meaning to get to. We look forward to meeting you all in person and to starting a conversation with this column in the coming months.