Goffstown Hardware - New Hampshire
Celebrating 35 Years
“I grew up here as a kid,” she says. “I always knew if we wanted to see our dad, we came to the store after school. And we worked.”
Much like Karen, her dad Larry Brown grew up in the store as well – working for his own father, Bob Brown, who ran it for more than two decades. Then, in 1984, Larry and his wife Sandy bought the store. Shortly after, Goffstown Hardware became a Blue Seal dealer when Larry bought a business across the street, and they have sold it ever since.
“We had a small space at the time, and so my dad was happy about selling Blue Seal because it was another business avenue outside of hardware,” Karen says. “It made up a decent amount of our sales. He was forward-thinking. He knew customers have to get feed every week, so they were going to come in for lightbulbs and batteries and other stuff too.”
During some of her parents’ expansion of Goffstown Hardware, Karen attended University of New Hampshire, majored in Business Administration in Hotel Management and moved to Boston, where she worked for Marriott for three years. That’s when, in 2000, her parents asked if she wanted to come back to the store. They needed a succession plan. Karen was prepared to step up.
“I was about to get married and have kids,” she recalls. “I thought, ‘Do I want to raise my kids in Boston working at a hotel and in daycare? Or do I want to move back where I had family nearby, growing a family-run business?’ I could picture myself doing all of that with my kids.”
And so, six years after returning home as general manager of Goffstown Hardware, Karen bought the store from her parents – marking the third generation of family owners. Today, Goffstown Hardware employs 35 people and exclusively sells Blue Seal, ordering “a trailer load” of feed every two weeks for equine, poultry, swine and backyard species like birds and rabbits.
“The relationship with Blue Seal is great,” she says. “We’ve always felt very supported by the company, and they are proactive about reaching out to us on sorts of things. They help us complete the circle between the product, our customers, and us.”
Goffstown Hardware will celebrate its 60th anniversary this spring – 35 of which have been as a Blue Seal dealer.