After nearly 23 years under the ownership of Lisa Jerome and her late father, Bill Goodale, Hart’s True Value Hardware in Southold could soon be changing hands.
Ms. Jerome, 52, listed the property in early March.
Nearly 50 years ago, Ms. Jerome said, the Main Road staple was a shed owned by the Smith brothers, two contractors who used it to sell extra materials. It was later purchased by Les Hart, who then turned it into Hart’s Hardware. After that, the store was sold to Don Spates, who owned the business for about two decades until Mr. Goodale purchased it in 1993.
“This was my dad’s dream,” Ms. Jerome said. “This is what he wanted to do.”
After her father, Mr. Goodale — a former funeral home professional who purchased Hart’s when he was in his 50s — died from liver cancer in December 2006, Ms. Jerome began running the business with the help of her four children.
With her children now grown, Ms. Jerome feels it’s time to move on to something less time-consuming, as she currently works seven days — totalling more than 60 hours a week — at the hardware store.
While she’s proud of what her family has accomplished at the store, including taking on several renovations over the years, Ms. Hart said her favorite part of the job is interacting with customers on a daily basis.
“I like the people a lot,” she said. “We have a lot of neighborly people … It’s the small-town feel.”
Ms. Jerome said she spoke with her mother, Karen Goodale, in March before listing the building. She made sure to get her approval, something Ms. Jerome felt was important since the store was intended to uphold her father’s legacy.
“Things haven’t fallen off the shelves dramatically, so I guess [my dad’s] OK with it,” Ms. Jerome joked of the decision to sell.
Ms. Jerome, who has also worked as a cashier, bookkeeper and receptionist, said she doesn’t plan to retire yet, even if she doesn’t know what’s on the horizon.
She said there’s already been some interest in the property, which is listed at $795,000. While she hopes it will remain a hardware store, she realizes that in the end she doesn’t have control over what the new owner ultimately chooses to do with the building.
“It’s sad to see it go, but you can’t stop change,” she said. “I’m always going to have the memories. It’s going to be a part of my life no matter what. A good part.”
Photo Caption: Lisa Jerome behind the counter at Hart’s Hardware in Southold, a business she and her late father, Bill Goodale, have owned for nearly 23 years. (Credit: Nicole Smith)