Aubuchon Hardware. A fixture on Main Street in Tewksbury for as long as I can remember.
One of those solid businesses in Tewksbury that has withstood the test of time in our town. Originally at 2261 Main St. for over 40 years, this business has relocated into a new space at 1777 Main St. This was the old Osco Drug Store that is cut in half and also now hosts the Brave Troops Buffet.
The move is a merger of Aubuchon with Tewksbury Paint & Hardware, which Aubuchon acquired in September 2013. Showing great respect for their former competitor's 60-year history, you can find the Tewksbury Paint & Hardware sign on the wall inside the new location.
So I wonder, what makes Aubuchon so popular among not only Tewksbury residents, but other people in neighboring towns as well? I went in a couple times prior to this interview to get a sense of the new store and see if I could "scope" out the place before I set up the interview. My first impression? Clean, neat, organized and way bigger and brighter than the old store.
There was significant foot traffic in and out and a happy buzz around the employees. Then I hear this booming voice coming from behind the paint counter. A giant hello follows with a "Welcome to Aubuchon." I know right away that this is the guy. This is the person that I am going to talk to. So, ladies and gentlemen, I introduce Mr. John Haley.
Hollie Gonzalez - So John, what is your position here at Aubuchon Hardware?
John Haley - I am the "paint specialist." I know everything about the paints in this store. I am a Benjamin Moore Specialist. I can help you with anything from choosing the right paint and primer to getting the proper brushes for all your needs. ( He is bring modest here people..he is a Wiz at all things paint, never mind the rest of the thousands of products in the store)
HG - So John, why merge with Tewksbury Paint and Hardware after all these years?
JH - The timing was right. We already had a great relationship with Wayne White from Tewksbury Paint and they had a great association with Benjamin Moore products. It seemed like the perfect fit.
HG - Why did Aubuchon choose to stay in Tewksbury?
JH - The original store code for this Aubuchon Hardware was 007. It has a history. The store at 1777 Main St. is one the best performing Aubuchon Hardware stores there is . It has survived the ups and downs of the economy and this town has always been the right fit. Moving to a new store in the same city just made sense. We didn't need a different town, we needed a bigger space. We originally wanted to move to the store space where the old Home Goods was in the Market Basket plaza, but things happen and that plan fell through. We couldn't be happier in this space now though. It is perfect for our needs.
HG - Why should people come to Aubuchon versus say Home Depot or Lowes?
JH - Our customer service, hands down. You never have to look down 7 aisles to find someone to help you. Our primary focus is customer service. We are trained in it. We are very hands on and will always go the extra mile to help you. We have the knowledge of our products and the confidence in them to sell them to you.
As I start in on my next few questions, John excuses himself for a moment. He returns with another gentlemen who I have come to know as Brian Scopelliti. Store Manager extraordinaire. Brian has a welcoming smile, and great personality. John thinks that the two of them are better suited to answer these next few questions as a team. Ok, I'm game..
HG - So guys, what are your hopes and expectations for the future of Tewksbury?
BS - To fill up the empty store fronts and empty lots along Route 38. Filling the stores on Route 38 would increase the foot traffic to all business in town.
JH - I agree with Brian. The desolate lots and empty buildings need a facelift. The more we fill up the defunct spaces in town, the better the town becomes, not only for the community but for the economy.
HG - So what can the community expect from the "New" Aubuchon Hardware?
BS - We are going to be more full service. We are in a better location, and feel we can offer better products with access to a fuller inventory. Our staff is ready and willing to help you when you walk in the door. We have more products and more variety. As well as more parking spaces! (laughs)
JH- We now have a current and full selection of hardware items, sundries, and Benjamin Moore Paints. We are also working on having a propane filling station, and full garden center.
HG - Garden Center? I'm curious.
BS - Flowers, plants, rocks, mulch and all the tools you need to go with it.
HG - Are there any future happenings in the store you might want the town of Tewksbury to know about?
BS & JH- We will be having Mothers Day specials coming up, as well as for each holiday. We will be having pumpkin painting around Halloween and window displays are in the works for Christmas time.
JH - We are also very proud of upcoming workshops that we will be offering. We are going to have an ongoing painters tip series. It will be where everyone from professionals to every day people can learn about a variety of topics such as how to prep and paint, as well as wallpaper. We will have color seminars and tips on how to apply faux finishes. Come check us out!
As I thank the guys, I realize that the phone hasn't stopped ringing, and the amount of people coming in and out hasn't dwindled at all. Hmm, I guess they do have something special here. John and Brian told me that they will be having a grand opening chain cutting ceremony on Friday May 8, 2015. It will be at 9am. Come down and check it out. Your Tewksbury Today will be there taking pictures!
Quick 5 - John Haley (Brian graciously steps aside here so John can answer)
Last thing I bought on line - Airline tickets to Aruba
Favorite Artist- Joe Jackson....however I think he really wanted to say Motley Crue... (no shame in Rock-N-Roll John!)
Favorite Restaurant- Landana's in Burlington
I'll do anything to avoid - Changing my own oil
Personal Motto - A lyric by Jason Aldean. "The only way I know, don't stop till everything is gone."
Hollie Gonzalez is resident of Tewksbury. She is married with two children. She is very passionate about Tewksbury
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