My name is Rich Orlowski, owner of Orlowski Hardware in Mattituck. I grew up here and went to Mattituck High School.
I worked at the store starting when I was 14, all through high school and college at Suffolk Community College and Saint Joe’s. I then left here for a few years and still stayed very good friends with the previous owner.
The opportunity arose to buy the business and the building and we took it, and that was in 2003.
My wife is from Greenport, I have two kids who go to Mattituck as well. It’s a great community. We live in Cutchogue so it’s not that far. I really enjoy it.
I took another job for two years, but I’ve always lived local. It was for Suffolk County Water Authority, but I really liked it here at the hardware store.
I like the people, I like all the little projects we get involved in and helping out. It’s a great thing, a great business. I mean we sell everything from plumbing fittings, to electrical fittings, to paint. There’s always some kind of project going on, and it’s a lot of fun.
I got along great with the previous owner, Henry Raynor. He was very flexible with my schedule so when I went to college I could get enough hours. A lot of people that I was helping then are still here.
The community thing is great. I work with great guys. We have fun, always laughing. I have quite a few loyal customers. They’re in here almost daily, at least weekly.
‘The Work We Do’ is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. Read it first and see more photos every Monday on Instagram @thesuffolktimes and watch the video on facebook.com/thesuffolktimes.