A store that has been a staple of the Oyster Bay community for 105 years is continuing its tradition of offering hardware supplies and other housewares in its location on the corner of East Main and South streets, while also expanding its inventory to better meet the needs of customers. Nobman’s Hardware, founded in 1910, has been operating under new ownership since July and held a ribbon cutting and grand reopening celebration on Saturday, Nov. 21.
“This is the store I need to fulfill my dream,” said owner James Pecoraro, who has been in the hardware business his entire life. He also owns Sea Cliff Hardware, which is off the beaten path on Sea Cliff Avenue and said that in that store, which is 1,100 square feet, he can’t offer as much merchandise as he can in Nobman’s. He chose to acquire Nobman’s both for the extra space of the store and because of the potential he said he sees in the neighborhood.
While the store never officially closed since he took over on July 1, the shelves were not fully stocked. He said they hoped to get everything in order before Oyster Festival, but it wasn’t realistic. They have spent the last few months reorganizing, restocking and taking in new inventory. One new feature Nobman’s offers is a specialty paint line, which Pecoraro wanted to have in place before holding a grand opening.
“We still have work, but it takes time,” he said. “The goal now is to let people know we’re here and to be consistent.”
He said he sees a lot the same faces and is starting to see new faces, which are both good things.
“They always had niche items, but we’ve done beyond,” he said. “We’ve added bird feeders, wind chimes and bird baths. Since Buckingham’s closed, I got a lot of people requesting greeting cards, so we have those now.”
One thing they do not have is bicycles. The former owners sold their family business to Pecoraro when an opportunity came to open a bike shop in Idaho.
“We are a hardware store and stick to our roots,” Pecoraro said. “The core of our offering is hardware, but we’ve expanded, making it a more full line hardware store, a little deeper with cements, power tools, hand tools and housewares.”
He said that during the week, the majority of the customers are women.
“Women will shop,” he said. “Men will come and get the one thing they need and leave.”
Because of this, he said they made the layout more user friendly. The upstairs is organized into the housewares, paints and tools, while plumbing supplies can be found in the basement. Downstairs is also currently a holiday showroom and will turn into an outdoor furniture showcase in the spring.
“They always did winter stuff, but we now have a holiday showroom, including trees, garland and lights,” he said. “In the spring we will have outdoor furniture, including colorful Adirondack chairs and rocking chairs, wicker furniture and cast iron furniture.”
Pecoraro, who lives in Hicksville, bought Sea Cliff Hardware in July 2009.
“In Sea Cliff, I do a lot of things for the kids,” he said, noting that while he offers side walk chalk, markers and crayons at both stores, he has not yet brought candy to Nobman’s, which he said brings in a lot of young business in Sea Cliff.
He said it was his sales representative who gave him the head’s up on Nobman’s Hardware and made the connection between him and the previous owners. When their opportunity came up, Pecoraro didn’t hesitate to make the offer. Being “born into the business” he said it has always been a passion of his.
“Life is about being happy, and they found happiness,” he said. “And for me, this is it.”
The store was welcomed by the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce and Pecoraro was presented with a citation on behalf Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos. Nobman’s Hardware is at 95 South St. in Oyster Bay. Store hours are Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; visit www.nobmanshardware.com or find them on Facebook for more information and promotional updates.