John Fix III, Mary Beth (Fix) Wellington and Thomas Fix, the third-generation owners and operators of Cornell’s Hardware in Eastchester, N.Y., have agreed to sell their business to the Aubuchon Company, the oldest and largest family-owned hardware store chain in America.
Following the closing at mid-year, the Aubuchon Company will operate 108 stores in eight states. “The Fix family has owned and operated Cornell’s Hardware for nearly 100 years, serving the home repair and improvement needs of friends and neighbors with a passion for personal and attentive service,” said Will Aubuchon IV, president and CEO. “John, Mary Beth, and Thomas all care deeply about their customers and staff, and we promise to do the same.”
“We take pride in being known for trying to satisfy every customer and going above and beyond a traditional hardware selection of goods,” said Mary Beth. “We carry unique items like beekeeping suits, home beer and winemaking supplies, Gozney pizza ovens, an extensive selection of light bulbs, a large array of kitchen wares and we always enchant our customers with a Christmas wonderland.”
“Our grandfather took over Cornell’s Hardware in 1932 from the Cornell brothers (Charlie & Bailey), because they had no next generation to take over as they neared retirement. Some of our children have worked in the hardware store at various points in their lives, but none got the hardware bug,” said John.
“Much like the Cornell brothers wanted to be sure that their hardware store continued to serve their community after their departure, we also want to be sure that Cornell’s Hardware continues to serve our town as we move forward looking for other ways to be of service to the community,” said Thomas.
“We embarked on a search for a suitable partner to take Cornell’s Hardware into the next 100 years, and we feel we have found the perfect match in the Aubuchon Company. As a private family-owned business since 1908, they operate over 100 stores and will continue to operate Cornell’s as a local, independent hardware store, ensuring it remains a great place to work for our loyal staff,” said John.
The store will continue to operate as Cornell’s Hardware, and the Fix family will continue to be involved in various roles as employees of the Aubuchon Company. “It’s an honor to carry on the legacy of Cornell’s Hardware,” said Aubuchon. “We work hard, take care of each other and have fun. We’ll soon be officially welcoming everyone to the Aubuchon family, and I can’t wait!”
Cornell’s traces its roots back to the early 1800s, making it one of the oldest business entities in Westchester county. The store first appeared as a general store in the village of Tuckahoe, New York, around 1800. In late 1800 the general store became a hardware & plumbing store, owned by William Rubly. Around 1908, the store was purchased by two brothers, Charlie and Bailey Cornell. John Fix (1902-1997) began working at Cornell’s in 1916, and over time, he bought into the business and managed the store along with the Cornell family. He bought the hardware store from the Cornell family in 1932.
John Fix’s two sons, John Jr. and Thomas joined the family business in the 1950s. With business booming, a branch store was opened on White Plains Road in Eastchester in 1958. When additional space became available alongside the Eastchester store in 1962, the Tuckahoe location was closed and all merchandise was moved to the new location. Business continued to grow, and a new building was constructed for the hardware store. Cornell’s opened in that location in 1974 and has operated there ever since.
In 1995 Cornell’s launched their website and became one of the first hardware stores in the world to sell products online. A year later, John Fix III launched the Hardlines Digest, an online message forum for independent hardware and lumber dealers. The forum continues to this day with over 2,500 active members who share helpful advice with each other to help run their businesses.
The Fix family continues to own and manage the hardware store, employing 35 staff members with the goal of providing outstanding and personal service to Westchester homeowners and businesses for all their home repair and improvement needs.
Founded by William E. Aubuchon, Sr. in 1908, the Aubuchon Company is the oldest and largest family-owned hardware store chain in America. Now in its fourth generation, the purpose of the Aubuchon Company is “to serve those who depend on us and build on our heritage with passion and humility.”
Following the purchase of Cornell’s Hardware, the Aubuchon Company will operate 108 hardware stores in eight states, predominantly under the “Aubuchon Hardware” brand, but also including “Lyndonville Hardware & Lumber” in Lyndonville, Vt., “Village Hardware” in Alexandria, Va., “True Value” in Bucks & Montgomery Counties, Pa., and now “Cornell’s Hardware” in Eastchester, N.Y. The company’s mission is to build up the strongest group of local hardware stores and brands across the country.