June 8, 2023
Herzog’s Wall Avenue retailer.

While you normally consider the Hudson Valley, you image small cities nestled among the many mountains or alongside the Hudson River. Every city consists largely of independently owned, distinctive inventive companies as a rule run by individuals who dwell and grew up within the city. They know the neighborhoods, they know the individuals in them, and they’re dedicated to the group.  

The native {hardware} shops are among the many staples of those cities. It is sensible. Each time you want a nail, a light-weight bulb, a stitching needle, some pens or new cups, it’s the place you go while you need to repair a leaky pipe, take care of chipped paint, must dig a gap or mend a fence.

You will discover 1000’s of specialised objects at your native ironmongery shop. The probabilities are you recognize the pleasant face directing you to only the suitable one. 

An abundance of {hardware} shops in our neck of the woods will not be solely owned by a neighborhood household, however they’ve additionally been owned by that very same household for generations. Ideas and data have been handed down. Concepts have been reshaped by eyes that grew up watching these {hardware} shops progress and alter with time. Once they see you, they know you. They know the home you reside in. Perhaps they know your dad or mother, too.

They’ve the whole lot you may look forward to finding in a ironmongery shop, and rather a lot you may not even know you wanted. They’ve stored adapting to new merchandise, new applied sciences and new client wants. It’s comforting to know that a part of what they do is to determine what the group wants. 

Herzog’s Dwelling and Paint Middle

Founder Matthew Herzog

The yr was 1909. Like a gritty black-and-white photograph, issues seemed completely different, however Kingston was bustling. Its many factories had been using 1000’s offering items for the remainder of the nation, and certainly for the world. The world brickyards and bluestone quarries had been in full swing, sending constructing provides to assist New York Metropolis develop. The primary Mannequin T automobile had come out the yr earlier than, and vehicles had been on the cusp of surpassing horse-drawn carriages on the much less bumpy roads. 

Matthew Herzog determined to open a paint, wallpapering and picture-frame retailer on Wall Avenue in Kingston on Might 10, 1901.

Quick ahead to 2023, and you will discover that quite a lot of issues have modified. Kingston has been by many highs and lows. The title Herzog has remained. Nonetheless owned by the identical household, Herzog’s over the many years labored its approach as much as changing into a full-fledged {hardware} and paint heart with a number of places. 

Treasurer Todd Jordan

Beneath the attentive eye of every successive technology, Herzog’s has continued to prosper and develop. In 1959, Robert Herzog, the son of Matthew, purchased Kingston Lumber. Within the Sixties the household created what’s now Kingston Plaza. Within the Nineteen Seventies their ironmongery shop moved to the plaza. In 1985, Todd Jordan joined his grandfather, Robert Herzog, in working the household enterprise. He took over as president following his grandfather’s loss of life in 1992, and was joined within the enterprise by his brother Todd shortly thereafter.

Advertising and marketing director Julie Jordan

Over the many years Herzog’s has expanded to incorporate extra paint facilities in Albany, Latham, Poughkeepsie and Fishkill. It has opened a backyard heart and reward store at its Kingston location. Annually it has improved and expanded numerous components of its shops, no matter world issues and native challenges. Regardless of wars, recessions, the appearance of big-box shops, and extreme supply-chain issues through the current pandemic, Herzog’s continues to prosper.  

How was it in a position to survive all these occasions? Todd’s spouse Julie, who helps run Herzog’s, provides numerous solutions:

Resilience: “We prioritize custom, however pivot with change.” 

President Brad Jordan

Dedication: “Our dedication to prospects and staff runs deep. For over 110 years we’ve offered excellent professional service with high quality merchandise. We notice our staff are the longer term, so we encourage them to realize new expertise and provides them alternatives for development. And we by no means take them without any consideration as a result of it’s their dedication that retains us going decade after decade. We’ve created a office tradition robust in variety, inclusion and belonging. It’s vital to us that each worker appears like they belong.” 

Belief: “We ensure that our employees supplies dependable trustworthy data to fill our prospects’ wants and construct power in these relationships.” 

Hardworking specialists: “Our employees will at all times go the additional mile to assist get any downside solved.  We attempt to rent people who know their space of experience extraordinarily nicely.” As a result of the Herzog household has lived right here, they grew up right here, and so they perceive the group, it helps them to know the wants of these round them.

PC Smith {Hardware} on Foremost Avenue, Saugerties. (Photographs by Dion Ogust)

PC Smith {Hardware} & Son

Phillip C. Smith began enterprise as a roofer and tinsmith on Market Avenue in Saugerties on the flip of the century. His son Albert joined his enterprise in 1904 on the age of 14. It was Albert who created the official PC Smith & Son {Hardware} round 1914. It moved to its present location on Foremost Avenue in 1920. The enterprise handed from technology to technology, and is at present run by siblings Rick and Sharon and Rick’s son Jacob.

Rick Smith

Their location on Foremost Avenue within the heart of the village has helped them achieve success. Finally, nonetheless, it’s their experience in aiding prospects that’s most helpful. Rick says that folks will usually are available with a damaged merchandise and ask for path. The Smiths and their eight staff stroll them by the steps of what it should take for them to finish their mission. This sort of one-on-one customer support, handed down by the generations, has helped Smith {Hardware} stay an important a part of the group.  

Jacob Smith, the youngest technology at PC Smith {Hardware}.
4th and fifth technology of Smith’s {Hardware}.

Every technology has additionally been in a position to carry one thing new to the desk.  Jacob, for instance, utterly digitized the shop, bringing it into the current century. PC Smith is now in a position to observe 35,000 lively objects, maintaining with seasonal and space traits. This development turned very important through the pandemic, when their enterprise markedly elevated. Jacob credit that uptick to the truth that individuals felt protected with them throughout a scary time. They had been reliable and native, stored objects clear, had a strict masks coverage, and provided curbside supply.

H. Houst and Sons, household owned for generations. (Photographs by Dion Ogust)

H. Houst & Sons {Hardware} Inc.

Woodstock within the Nineteen Thirties was a well-established arts colony, however even artists depend upon somebody sensible to supply them on a regular basis providers. It was right here that Henry O. Houst arrange a small electric-motor restore store on Rock Metropolis Highway in 1932.

As time glided by, he added a spot to promote instruments, {hardware} and paint. A decade later, his son Henry T. joined the enterprise. Henry T. purchased the present location on Mill Hill Highway within the very heart of the hamlet. The shop stays there to today.

Henry T. left the enterprise to his two sons, Henry L. and Milton. Henry L.’s son Ned tells the story of coming to Woodstock to offer working on the household ironmongery shop a attempt after three years as a naval officer. He was going to offer the job a yr to see the way it labored out. “It’s been an extended yr.” he quipped after over a half-century of seeing how it could work out.

At the moment Jody Bryan, Ned’s stepdaughter, and her husband run H. Houst and Sons. She has been working there since she graduated faculty, and has by no means seemed again. “The {hardware} enterprise is rarely boring. In spite of everything these years, I nonetheless study new issues.” 

Ned Houst ran the ironmongery shop for over 50 years.

The enterprise has modified over time, and the employees all work arduous to remain in tune with the wants and desires of the group. The shop used to promote clothes and faculty provides. Now it as an alternative hosts an improved kitchenware part. 

Cultural and environmental consciousness is vital. The shop now not sells garden and backyard chemical compounds. It seeks alternate options to plastic containers. 

Houst’s encourages their prospects to do their very own trouble-shooting and repairing. Moderately than issues being thrown away, repairs maintain them working longer. To assist with that, Houst’s shares specialty objects that usually can’t be discovered even in big-box shops. Houst’s additionally now runs a big equipment-rental enterprise in order that not each device or piece of equipment must be bought. 

Jody and her husband at present run Houst.

“For over 90 years now, it’s the individuals, our employees and our prospects, who’ve made us what we’re,” Jody says. “Everybody loves a great ironmongery shop!” 

Jody left us with an affectionate tribute customary by Woodstock poet Will Nixon. Unsurprisingly, it’s entitled: 

H. Houst & Son

Heaven and Hell in the identical aisle because the helium balloons you purchase to knock some sense into the sky.
Oil for the paraffin lamp so you may write poems by the sunshine Emily wrote by.
Umber for the moods an excessive amount of like March you start to overlook by July.
Suppose you weren’t born with the genes for splicing wires or hanging chandeliers.
There’s nonetheless hope on the {hardware}. The identical two clowns who handle this place, the Normal & the Saboteur, additionally occur to handle your psyche. One by no means fails. The opposite at all times has enjoyable.
So purchase the canine bone formed like an Olmec god. The squirrel-proof feeder that squirrels desire.
Order the 1/4” screwlatchboltswitch that solely prices 39¢ regardless of the hell it’s for.
No one votes towards {hardware}. Rumor says there’s a light-weight bulb in again that burns endlessly.