After the previous hardware store at Weaver's Corner Shopping Center closed after 30 years in business, a new hardware store is looking to make its own history.
Family Hardware, which has a store in downtown Cape Coral, has moved into the old True Value Hardware location with plans to provide hands-on customer service and expertise designed to bring people back.
Chris Peterson, who owns the new store with his brother, said he bought the North Fort Myers store the same way he bought the Cape Coral store on Southeast 47th Terrace two years ago, from someone else who had owned the same shop for years.
"We heard the North Fort Myers store was going out of business because they were having this big sale. So, we went in and switched into that one," Peterson said. "We were just going to buy the key machine and we ended up buying the whole place with the inventory."
Family Hardware has been busy flipping the merchandise over to its brand, renovating the store and adding new services, Peterson said.
They are planning to "bring in what we did in the Cape and bring that here," Peterson said.
The main idea is to turn it into an "old-fashioned" hardware store where customers can get the family help and knowledge they say can only be offered by a neighborhood shop.
"The one advantage we have is that we can give them that help and walk them where they need to go and give them the advice they need," Peterson said. "In the bigger stores, they don't always know what you need and aren't there to help. They can't compete in service."
Like the old-school hardware stores, Family specializes in smaller, individual hardware, since the big stores won't always sell you the one or two screws you need or the special needlenose pliers some people need from time to time.
Open since November, Family Hardware has been seen slow growth and it Peterson said it will take a while to build its client base back up.
Meanwhile, the Cape Coral store has seen steady growth on the heels of a strong 2013.
The true test for the North Fort Myers store will be over the summer when the snowbirds head back up north.
"We're waiting to see what happens when they return home, but we like what we're seeing right now," Peterson said.