Corner Hardware Store is one
advantage of small town living.
Rita and Snooky help area projects run smoothly
with specialty orders and customized stock.
The Corner Hardware Store in Chatsworth is more than a place to buy a can of paint.The shop offers a variety of materials at a
convenient location for area residents, as well as a meeting place forthe locals.
The owner Cary“Snooky” Dehm bought the store hoping to make getting hardware handy for the small, rural community.
“I bought the business because I wanted to keep it in town,”Dehm said.
He knows the value of having a hardware store handy while working on a project. “At first I was one of my best customers,”
Dehm joked.The store increased inventory as needed under Dehm’s ownership. “Lastyear I sold a lot of concrete
mix because three houses in town needed foundation repairs,” Dehm said.Handling lumber was in his best interest. His
manager Rita Dunn said,“We will carry a little bit of lumber for the local people who are in the middle of a project and find out that they need
some more. Then they donot have to leave town to go get it,” Dunn said.
The store added farm oil and springtime yard materials as well.The winter weathercan contribute to project standstills.
This affects the bottom line at the register. “The weather has been so cold, I do not think people wanted to come out to get
stuff,” Dunn said.Knowing what to order and overseeing fellow employees comes natural for Dunn. She worked for
Max Moore, the previous owner, who called the store Moore Hardware. He and Dunn arranged a schedule. “I ran the store half the time, and
Rita ran it the other half of the time. Until the last five years, I had a secretary,Shirley Haberkorn.She owned the business
before I bought it,”Moore explained.Unlike Moore, Dehm does not spend a lot of time in the store. “Rita and I make business
decisions together, and I go in to place orders,”Dehm said.He simply does not have the extra time.
Dunn listed all of his other responsibilities. “He drives a shuttle to the airport, he drives a charter bus, he farms, and he
is very involved at the American Legion Hall,”she said.Dehm added, “I do not have much free time.”
He checked her availability before he entered the purchase agreement.“She said she would run the business if I bought
it,” Dehm said.The added hours agree with Dunn. “Sometimes people call me at home and ask me to open the store because they need
something when they are in the middle of a project.I do whatever I can to accommodated them,”Dunn said.
The town of Chatsworth helps the store move inventory. “The town is trying to save money, so they are doing more of the
work themselves. They need a place to buy their hardware,” Dehm said. It is a hub to those who frequent there. “When I
owned it, there were quite a few people who would hang around a visit when they came in to get stuff,” Moore said.
Dunn, a lifetime Chatsworth resident, considers that one of the fringe benefits.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Corner Drug Store Article: "