RIDGEFIELD, Conn. Since 1972, Ed and Barbara Keough, and now their son, Bill, have been assisting people with their hardware needs.
They will be celebrating their 40th year in business this Saturday at both Keoughs Paint & Hardware locations in Ridgefield and Stamford.
The family first opened up shop in a small spot along Route 7 in Ridgefield in 1972 before moving to its current location on the Wilton/Ridgefield border in 1977. The Stamford store opened on High Ridge Road in 1990.
The business always has been owned by the Keoughs, who in the 1990s began considering their retirement, and handing more responsibility to their sons, Bill, Ed, and Mark. The latter two left in 1995, and Bill became president and took over both stores a few years later when his parents retired.
Keough is now in a position where he is putting the third generation to work at the hardware stores with his daughter Caroline, 16, getting ready for her third summer there, and his son Jack, 14, putting in a couple of hours a week as well starting this summer.
While he would like to keep the stores in the family, he never would force his children to do something they weren't going to be happy doing, he said.
The secret to the Keoughs success since the store opened has been focusing on the customer and trying to make their experience as pleasurable as possible, Keough said. He added he makes sure all of the team members are attentive to customers, and knowledgeable about all of the products and their uses, even if it means suggesting a different product than what the customer first wanted.
Everyone that comes in here has a need, and we want to help, Keough said.
On Saturday, both stores will have Weber Grill demonstrations and provide free hot dogs and hamburgers for customers. They also will be giving away free Keoughs baseball caps and reusable shopping bags, as well as having special sales. There also will be raffles for a propane heater, and a weekend getaway to Mountain Creek golf resort and spa in New Jersey.
Its a way to thank our customers, and we want to share our success with them, Keough said.
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