When it comes to fixing a leaky faucet, painting a doorway, or mending a broken window screen, there’s nothing like strolling into your local neighborhood hardware store to pick the minds of the experts for help.
Roy Weinman, owner of Weinman’s Hardware on Bedford Avenue, is a part of a family tradition that dates back to 1922. Weinman recently spoke to Patch about the trials and tribulations of running a community hardware store, in addition to giving us a little history lesson of Bellmore.
Tell us about the services that Weinman’s Hardware offers.
Right now it’s changed quite a bit. Today we do a lot of repair work...lawn mowers, power equipment. We also do a lot of repair work on screens for windows and all sorts of assorted merchandise that comes in.
In addition to that, we carry plumbing supplies, electrical supplies and of course a lot of basic hardware and painting supplies also.
Please tell us a little about the history of the business. It was started in 1922 by your father, correct?
Yes. He basically came out from the city with his wife and was looking for different places to open up. He settled in Bellmore, which, at that time, had a very active business street on Bedford Avenue. In fact, Bellmore was the main shopping center between Freeport and Amityville. But things have changed, of course.
What got you involved in the family business?
After I came back from serving in World War II, I finished college and I came back to the store and I took over working here.
How’s business been lately for a locally-based merchant?
It’s been a little slow lately, aside from the repair work. Basically, the big stores have taken the lion’s share of the business, let’s put it that way.
But that’s happened to many of the retail stores that were on Bedford Avenue and right now there’s only a few true retail operations left on the Avenue. Most of the other stores that are left are restaurants, or professionals such as insurance agencies and whatnot.
We also still have a few good jewelers in town, and they’re kept going.
What do you like about owning and operating a business in the Bellmore area?
Basically, I’ve always enjoyed having an operation where we can help and solve people’s problems and we’ve done a pretty good job at that.