We are excited to introduce the “Member Spotlight” series to our readers. Each month, we will take an in-depth look into one of our Chamber members and the history of their business or organization. Look for a new spotlight in each quarterly newsletter. For the months when a newsletter is not released, you will be able to find the latest “Member Spotlight” right here on our blog! For our first edition of this new series, our featured member is Martin’s New Oxford Hardware, Inc. a long-time staple of the New Oxford community. Read on below to learn more about this beloved local business.
Steve Martin has always had an interest in hardware. From a young age, Steve enjoyed helping out at his uncle’s hardware store in Hagerstown, MD. Those early experiences at his uncle’s business led to Steve’s dream of one day owning his own hardware store.
After growing up in Pittsburgh and attending Walsh College in Ohio, Steve and his family decided to make that dream a reality. Steve and his father Bill, who had previously owned a machine shop business, looked at hardware stores throughout Pennsylvania before finding a store for sale in New Oxford. With its ideal living accommodations – there is an apartment on the second floor above the store – its proximity to family and its location in the heart of a small town, the store was the perfect fit for the Martin family.
On July 1, 1974, Steve and his father officially purchased the store from its former owners Bob and Nora McEvers and became business partners. At the time, Steve was only 21 years old. The Martin family, including Steve’s mother and Bill’s wife Mary, would go on to grow their beloved family business in New Oxford.
Over the years, Martin’s Hardware has celebrated many milestones and accomplishments. The store celebrated 40 years of business in 2014. In 2015, the Chamber recognized Martin’s as its Business of the Year. Perhaps the biggest accomplishment though is the store’s popularity with the local community.
Because it is a locally-owned small business, the staff at Martin’s is able to provide customers with the care and attention that is rarely found at big box stores. Customers can always expect hands-on help when they visit Martin’s.
Because of this unique experience, many of the store’s visitors are loyal customers who have shopped at Martin’s for years. Martin’s carries a wide variety of hardware items and has added many lines over the years in order to continue fulfilling the needs of its customers. In addition to the products in the store, Martin’s also offers window and screen repairing, paint mixing and color matching , key duplication, glass and screen cutting, equipment rentals and blade sharpening.
Customers are greeted by familiar faces each time they visit Martin’s. Steve is active in the day-to-day operations of the store. Steve is joined in the store by Bill Bechtel, Ron Boring, Mitch and Wendy Diviney and Jason Smith. Originally a part-time staff member, Bill is now full-time and has been with the business for almost 30 years. Ron has worked part-time at Martin’s for almost 10 years while the Mitch and Wendy have been involved for the past couple of years as part-time staff members. Jason joined the staff in mid-2019.
Steve and Bill agree that the best part of working at Martin’s is the customers. Steve believes that customers “become like personal friends.” That feeling of friendship is shared by many of the customers who choose to shop at Martin’s, sometimes even multiple times a day, for all of their hardware needs.
A number of customers even prefer to drive from out of town because of the high level of customer service at Martin’s. In addition to connecting with customers, Bill enjoys meeting new business owners, staying up-to-date on community happenings and forging connections with local businesses and members of the community.
With their expertise and hands-on assistance, it is no wonder that Martin’s and its staff are the top choice for hardware in our community. Want to learn more about Martin’s New Oxford Hardware? Visit their website at martinsnewoxfordhardware.com, follow them on Facebook for fun contests and, of course, stop by in person at 21 Center Square.
On a personal note, the Chamber is lucky to have such great neighbors. Steve and his staff are always willing to lend a helping hand whether it be with decorating the circle for the holidays or helping put a sign up for Market Day. Small businesses like Martin’s and many other businesses around town are an asset to our community, and we are lucky that these businesses call our community their home. We encourage you to support local businesses such as Martin’s and keep an eye out for future spotlights on other members of our wonderful local business community!
1/10/2020 01:39:28 pm
My father,Jim Myers started that hardware store and ran it until 1964 when he sold it to Mcevers
New Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce
1/14/2020 11:37:33 am
Hi Melanie! Thanks for sharing. Our article is focused on the time it has been Martin's; however, we are definitely interested in learning more about your father Jim starting the business as that is also a valuable part of our town's history. Additionally, if you have not done so in the past, it would a great idea to sit down with someone from the New Oxford Area Historical Society to talk about your father starting his hardware store in New Oxford. During the winter, the historical society will be holding a monthly event where attendees can bring along an "artifact" and/or story to share with the group. It is an opportunity to discuss some of the historical aspects of New Oxford that some might not know about. This could be a great opportunity for you and the community! :)
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