Serving customers has been the story on Station Street in Simsbury. Welden Hardware has lasted through the decades.
“The store’s been here for 130 years, since 1889, always in the same location, in the center of Simsbury. It’s always been a hardware store. It’s always been Welden Hardware. We are the fifth owners of this business,” said Melissa Brett.
Melissa Brett and her husband, John, took over the business 15 years ago. John had been with Welden for 31 years, adding to its rich history of being part of the community.
“They want to know us. We want to know them. We want to know what their project is all about. We want to know how their kids are doing, how their friends are doing, if they’ve had a death in the family. And they come in here and they tell us because they know we’re family,” said Melissa Brett.
Those relationships have been fostered over the years with great one-on-one service. It’s something Melissa Brett says sets Welden apart from big box stores.
“It’s getting to know our customers. They get to trust us with the information we’re giving them to help them with their projects, to help them, ‘I don’t know how to do this, what do I do next.’ And when it comes out successfully, they’re going to come back,” said Brett.
Those customers come back to stock up on supplies or to fix a piece of equipment for the yard. Welden has seen generations of families walk through the door and the Brett family plans to keep those doors open for years to come to continue the history started 130 years ago.
“I think it’s very important to keep that history alive, but about keeping the product and our information up-to-date so people can handle things nowadays,” said Brett. “What really makes us stand apart is that we really feel like we want to be there to help them.”