Last Hardware Store in Norfolk Closes Up Shop

Main Stree Hardware owner Ed Hamwey is retiring after 45 years in business

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After more than four decades, the only hardware store in Norfolk, Massachusetts, is closing its doors.

With an MBA and a degree in chemical engineering, Ed Hamwey opened Main Street Hardware in 1975.

"The only thing I knew about hardware… I knew what a screwdriver and a hammer was," Hamwey explained Friday. "That's it. Cause I don't like to work with my hands. I still don't."

But 45 years later, the shelves in the town's lone hardware store are bare and the cluttered floors are silent at last.

At 80 years old, Hamwey said he is closing up shop to retire and not because of competition. He found people in town liked what he offered over the large, impersonal box stores.

"Got to give them service. Cause if you don't give them service, they're not coming back," Hamwey said. "We got good prices. You pay $2 dollars more at CVS or Walgreens for the same battery. But I don't wanna brag."

Longtime customers like Jake Jacobson said they will miss the one-on-one customer service.

"Everybody's buying everything at Amazon right now right now and and delivered to your house the next day but it's great to have somebody that knows something and that's what we're going to miss," Jacobson said.

The Norfolk Fire Department, which will also miss the hardware store owner, posted a picture with Hamwey on its Facebook page last week to recognize the contributions of Main Street Hardware.

"You run into a couple of people you know and you end up spending a half hour, an hour going into get a 5 cent part so it petty cool," Norfolk Dep. Chief Peter Petruchik said.

Hamwey said he's not sure what he'll do now that he's retired but he enjoyed his time at the store.

"When I lock that door for the final time you know they'll definitely be a tear in my eye," Hamwey said. "It's been a good run. Excellent."

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