Petrolia hardware store celebrates 150 years in business
Published Thursday, May 14, 2015 6:05PM EDT
In the era of the big box store, you wouldn't expect to see this 'little' box still up and running.
Yet Van Tuyl and Fairbank Hardware in Petrolia is still relevant and holding its own in world of chain stores.
"Things have been evolving in this hardware business forever. I mean, to be around for 150 years means you can't stay the same for too long," says owner Charlie Fairbank.
The business thrives by offering services others have long forgotten - like threading pipe onsite.
It's also lived through fires that nearly claimed the original store and a near financial collapse.
The business was founded in 1865 -- two years before confederation.
Charlie Fairbank - standing next to the store's turn-of-the-century cash register - looks much like his great-grandfather, John Henry Fairbank.
"We are quite traditional. Let's face it, these places don't exist. We are unique in Canada," he says.
John McGillawe has been buying here for over three decades.
The contractor says good old fashioned service and unique items keep him coming.
"It's still the same as it always has been. That's the way we like [it]. We know where to find stuff," says McGillawe with a smile.