#370. “What a Place to Live”Posted on
“What a Place to Live”
This week we have a “feel good” story for our Agurban readers! From Chagrin Falls, OH, comes this story, in part, that appeared on the AP.
It began quietly, as an email to 40 friends.
But when a steady stream of customers began coming through the door before the family-owned Chagrin Hardware had even opened for the day on Saturday, it was clear that it had turned into much more than that.
The idea started with Jim Black, a resident of Chagrin Falls, a close-knit village in Cleveland’s eastern suburbs that is part artist colony and part bedroom community. Black posted the email to a group of his friends. “Let’s show our support for one of our local businesses,” he wrote. “I challenge everyone to spend AT LEAST $20 at the hardware on the 21st.”
And it wasn’t meant as a protest against the big-box stores that have created an ever-tightening circle around the community.
It was just a way to thank Chagrin Hardware‘s owners for a beloved shop that has been a fixture in the village since 1857.
“These are good people who needed our support,” Black said. “It’s just that simple.”
The store has been run by the Shutts family for the last 72 years. It passed from uncle to father to older brothers Rob and Kenny and the three youngest, Steve, Susie and Jack, who run the store today.
Black’s note was forwarded and forwarded and forwarded again. Calls started coming in from folks out of state who wanted to make a purchase over the phone.
And when the day came, so did the shoppers – one by one, with dogs on leashes and children in tow, hour after hour until the hardware was teeming with customers.
By 10 a.m. the place was jammed. By 1:30 p.m., the credit card machine was overloaded and had to be reset. “This is so cool,” saidSteve Shutts, a mix of joy, wonder and happy exhaustion spread across his face. “I’ve seen people today I haven’t seen in years.”
The line at the checkout stretched in two directions as people with snow shovels and light bulbs and fireplace grates and vintage movie posters and horse shoe caulk – yes, horse shoe caulk – waited to pay.
When the final customer had finally left well after closing time with her fuzzy dice and floodlights, Schwind and Steve Shutts tallied the day’s receipts. Shutts shook his head at the wild and unexpected ride.
“Thanks to Jimmy Black,” he said. “Thanks to everyone. Thanks to Chagrin Falls.
“What a place to live.”
And what a great way to show support to a local business! Is there a locally owned family business in your community that could use this kind of support?