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Keeping the town all fixed up

KINGSTON — It may have the insignia of a nation-wide chain store, but the owners of Henery’s Hardware say its Kingston location is family-owned and run.

With daughters, sons and other various relatives working behind the counter and on the floors, they aren’t far from the truth.

Co-owners Mike and Jane Henery and Pete and Laura Warner, opened up their doors to the public May 10 in the old Appletree Pharmacy/Ben Franklin location in the Kingston Thriftway complex.

Running a family business is nothing new to Mike and Jane. The two have been in business for themselves the past 31 years — 21 of them in grocery and the last 10 in hardware at their Port Townsend Do-It-Best store. They decided Kingston was a great location for a new hardware store after driving through town late last year.

A market analysis of the area showed “it basically just backed up what we thought to be a good store,” Mike said.

By January 2003, they were working on financing and ordering products. By March, the store was filled with parents, kids and grandkids, all carpeting, painting, shelving and unloading several semi-truck loads of freight within six weeks.

“(The warehouse company) Do-It-Best was amazed how fast we did it,” Mike said.

Even though the store logos have the familiar bright orange, white and yellow Do-It-Best signs that are seen at other hardware stores (such as the Coast-Do-It-Best Hardware in Poulsbo), the store is very much family-owned and operated, Mike said. Do-It-Best is the name of the warehouse from which the store gets its merchandise. The company also does the advertising for the store, but on a local scale.

“The focus is on the neighborhood family-owned store,” Mike said, adding that the most popular part of the store has been the lawn and garden area.

“People’s no. 1 activity is lawn and garden and most hardware stores that have lawn and garden departments, that’s their number one department,” Mike said. “People enjoy working in their yard, people are traveling less. They enjoy working on the home.”

Besides flowers and soil, Henery’s has something for every situation, including fishing and gifts. But the staff is still bringing in new items.

“In an average week, we get 10 to 12 items in that we think, ‘Oh, how did we miss that?’” Mike said, noting he is constantly ordering new products.

Even if the store doesn’t have it, staff members will be sure to check the catalog to see if it can be special ordered.

“If we can get it, we’ll order it for you,” Mike said, noting they handle about 25 special orders a week. They also offer free deliveries and fix screen problems. The owners hope to bring in a pipe-threading machine for galvanized and black-piping, too.

The response from the community has been supportive.

“I think we’ve been blessed,” Mike said. “I think people want it to be successful.”

“Kingston has needed this for years,” is a statement that many customers have been professing, he added.

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