HomeTown Hardware opens in Canton
CANTON — When the idea of opening a new hardware store in Canton first surfaced, long-time small business owner David Singleton wasn’t sure the time was right.
Singleton owns four convenience stores in the county, including Frank’s Grocery in Bethel, where he works closely with Gerald Blaylock, a field rep for the international hardware supplier, Orgill.
It was Blaylock who suggested a feasibility study for a hardware store in Canton.
“With the economic climate the way it was, I hemmed and hawed,” Singleton said. “When the study came back, that changed my mind.”
HomeTown Hardware had a soft opening on Oct. 3, and will have a grand opening celebration Oct. 13.
“Things have gone very well,” Singleton said. “People have liked the variety and our pricing.”
Prices can be competitive, Singleton said, because Orgill runs a no-frills operation. Part of the requirement is for affiliate stores to stock a full line of hardware in a minimum space of 7,500 square feet. Singleton’s store, located at 127 Plaza Loop (the old Maxway store), has 10,000 square feet of stocked space, and a 5,000 square-foot area where building materials are stored for now.
HomeTown Hardware will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and already has a dozen or so employees.
Buddy Flynn, who once managed a Waynesville paint store, oversees the Valspar paint selection at HomeTown Hardware, and Singleton tapped Harold Mashburn, who has years of experience in business, to be his store manager.
Tom Mammarelli spent 15 years working in the big-box chain stores before he got a job at HomeTown Hardware.
“It’s like being in heaven when you work in a community store like this,” he said. “Mr. Singleton has done a first class job here.”
The spacious store has wide aisles and a wide selection of everything from nails to paint. An array of colorful mums in the midst of the outdoor display have been a brisk-selling item.
Singleton said customer service is a top priority.
“We even do class-cutting and screen repair,” Singleton said, noting several customers had remarked they ran across items they hadn’t been able to find elsewhere.
Singleton said when Canton Mayor Mike Ray dropped by, he made a point he hadn't thought about earlier.
"If people are able to buy what they need in town, it helps out the town tax base," Singleton said. "This is a chance for them to do that."