Hammerheads Ace Hardware in Largo offers an old-fashioned shopping experience, featuring special gifts for every member of the family in a quaint department store-like setting, without having to fight holiday crowds.
Even after being located at 1015 West Bay Dr., west of Clearwater Largo Road, for the past seven years, lots of people “are still really surprised with all the things we have here. They come in and the first thing they say is ‘Oh my goodness,’ ” said Taylor Swann, the store's floor manager.
Craftsmen and those doing household or boat repairs from all over Tampa Bay have come to depend on Sue and Bill Gessert’s family-owned hardware store when they need wide array of items and unique parts, ranging from plumbing to nautical items, houseware and construction items to electrical supplies. In their store, row after row reveals a large assortment of Craftsmen tools, fishing poles, plants, seeds and gardening items, paints, appliances and lighting supplies.
“Many people are happy to find we carry some hard-to-find special parts that local residents might need to do repairs, such as on their mobile homes,” Swann said. The shop also offers services such as re-screening and tool sharpening, and as a special surprise for many, Hammerheads is also a certified auto chip key provider, saving people a lot of money when they have to replace specially designed car keys.
The real surprise comes when visitors see their large gift shop, which features special gifts ranging from artist-designed wall clocks to handcrafted jewelry, a wide assortment of baby gifts, oil lamps, Christmas trees and ornaments, household gifts, and novelty stocking stuffers.
“People are really surprised we also have such a big gift shop,” said Debbie Swink, store clerk. “We have things people say they can’t find anywhere else.”
Hammerheads is like a true, old-fashioned hardware store where you can find almost everything you need, she added.
Swann said to celebrate the holiday season Hammerheads plans a Live, Love and Sparkle Holiday Bling Fling, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, which will feature special sales on gift items, jewelry and Swarovski brand jewelry.
"We support the effort to let people know all the great bargains they can find by shopping locally," Swann said. "It’s the holiday season and we want people to think of shopping with us, rather than fighting the crowds at the malls."
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