STAUTNON, Va. (WHSV) — Young Hardware has been in downtown Staunton since 1954, and after 65 years, they are closing their doors on June 29 for good.
Richard Young standing in front of Young Hardware days before closing its doors. | Credit: WHSV
After swearing to himself that he would never get into the family business, Richard Young stepped up to run Young Hardware when his father decided to retire in 1984, and he has spent the past 35 years being an integral part of the Staunton community.
"I always said we were problem solvers," Young said, "and that we sell products to go along with the problem as a solution."
Young and his team were always up for the challenge to find those solutions and do it in a positive way.
"Look at it as an opportunity to solve the problem to create a good customer," Young said, "and hopefully a friendship out of it."
It was once the only hardware store in the area, and it remained a strong competitor for other retailers that have made their way into the valley and online.
One customer said they relied on Young Hardware for many years and are sad to see them go, but Young hopes that positive impression will stick with the community for years to come.
Young and his wife are ready to retire, and no one was able to carry on the business. His children are happy in their own careers and the current store manager, Pat Clatterbaugh, is also heading toward retirement.
"Customers laughing at the register when they're leaving the store, to me that's a very good sign that we've done our job," Young said. "And that's the kind of thing i'm going to miss."
The memories will also stick with the employees that have worked there over the years.
"I honestly don't know what I'm going to do with myself," Clatterbaugh said. "This has been my life for so long, but I'm going to miss all the employees here. We're all like a family."
Young and his wife will be moving out west for retirement.