Anyone over the age of 40 knows that up until perhaps 25 years ago, every suburb had its own hardware store where you could go for all of those bits and pieces you needed around the house.
Now, for the vast majority, these needs are provided by one main retailer, or perhaps more accurately by one or more of a coterie of big box retailers (with names beginning with B, C, K and W), and the local hardware store has largely disappeared from the high street.
But some of these original hardware stores are bucking the trend, by providing just the right mix of products not found on the shelves in the big retailers, and great service. One shining example of these thriving independents is Paddington Hardware.
Opened back in 1977 by Ross Perrins and his father, it has stayed in the same spot and in that time has gone through three renovations and expanded in size (most recently increasing its floor space by 40% by taking over the pizza shop next door, which now houses the paint shop and specialised hardware section).
What is their secret? It’s got a lot to do with Queenslanders’ abiding love of Queenslanders! Anybody either living in a Queenslander or renovating one will have come across the problem of finding suitable fittings in all the normal places you’d go to, and this is the problem that Paddington Hardware fixes.
Of course they stock a wide range of general hardware items, but specialise particularly in original style Queenslander fittings and hardware (‘Colonial hardware’) – anything from brass door handles to window fittings, door bolts, archways, antique cabinets and locks …and more. They also stock a lot of wooden and timber items, all of which are made in Australia.
And their reputation spreads far wider than Paddington, or even Brisbane, with many customers travelling from all parts of Queensland – and even interstate – to find what they need for their Colonial and older style homes.
Another – surprisingly related – niche market that Paddington Hardware services is antique furniture, which often needs solid brass or nickel plated screws, which are very hard to find elsewhere. People who own vintage and veteran cars also need these components and fall into the same bracket (pun intended).
The latest addition to the 30,000 stock items they have on the floor is – you guessed it – quality kitchen knives and electric knife sharpeners. And not just any – only I.O.Shen knives and Nirey electric knife sharpeners have made the cut. When you walk in the door there is now a large stand (pictured above) in the corner for both brands. It’s proving popular with their customers, as Michael Dwyer, who looks after purchasing for Paddington Hardware, explains…
“The new stand is certainly attracting attention.” he said. “If you want to get hold of good quality kitchen knives or electric knife sharpeners you used to have to go into the city or to one of the major shopping centres. Not any more!”
Now that more people are aware they stock these two brands, professional chefs are coming in to buy as well as the regulars and locals.
Paddington Hardware combine the best of the old and the new ways of doing business – you can buy an ever increasing number of their products in their online store and you can go in in person, plus they’re happy to sell you a single screw, if that’s all you need!
Visit them online at https://www.paddingtonhardware.com.au/