Many people have memories of heading to the local hardware store with their dads, to pick up items for a weekend project. There is a kind of magic in a family-owned hardware store that a big box store can’t even begin to capture.
One such store in Glynn County will soon celebrate its 75th anniversary. Arco Hardware, on Community Road, in Brunswick, was founded just a couple of years after the end of World War II.
“My grandfather, Sven Ingwerson, opened the store on Norwich Street in the Arco area in 1947,” said Trey Seymour, who owns the store with his wife, Katie. “That was back when Norwich Street was one of the main streets running through Brunswick.”
Arco, he said, is an acronym for the Atlantic Refinery Co., which operated an oil refinery in the area from 1918 to the 1930s.
Trey said the store remained on Norwich Street until the mid-1980s, when his father, Howard Seymour II, opened a second location on Community Road.
“He was going to change the name to Community Hardware, but since most people knew it as Arco Hardware, he left the name alone. The Community Road location is the only location today.”
When Arco Hardware moved to Community Road in 1984, there were very few businesses in the area.
“I can remember playing in the pine forest at the edge of our property,” he said. “Now you’ll find very few trees as you drive down Community Road.”
Trey said he worked at Arco Hardware off and on for a good part of his life.
In 2009, my parents convinced me to move back from California and I began training to run (and) manage Arco,” he said. “In 2013, my wife and I purchased the store from my parents.”
The family, he said, has been fortunate to have had so many loyal customers over the last 75 years.
Since purchasing the store, the younger Seymours have added a propane exchange and pine straw and improved the tool selection.
Some things have remained constant, he said, including the quick in-and-out service Arco Hardware is known for, as well as knowing their customers and keeping the items they want in stock.
The family has some core values that have stood the test of time and made Arco Hardware a success for 75 years.
“We still believe in and practice customer service,” Trey said. “We will greet you at the door and get you what you need. If we don’t have it, we can usually order it and get it within a few days.”
Arco Hardware carries all of the general hardware, concrete and rebar, and has a full lumberyard behind the store.
“We sell gas logs and have several set up for display, so our customers can see firsthand how good the logs look and the different options,” he said. “We also build and repair window screens.”
In fact, Arco Hardware is the only local store that builds and repairs window screens. They sell fire-rated lumber, too, which also sets them apart.
“Being a small, family owned business we appreciate each and every one of our customers, (and) being locally owned and operated, we are glad to keep specific items in stock that our customers need on a regular basis.”