Martin and Kathleen Clark, owners and operators of Martin’s Hardware & Building Supply in Bristol and Middlebury, Vt., have agreed to sell their business to the Aubuchon Company, the oldest and largest family-owned hardware store chain in America. Following the closing this fall, the Aubuchon Company, a Century Club member, will operate 110 stores in eight states.
“Martin and Kathleen have been serving friends, neighbors and employees for nearly 28 years as owners. I’m inspired by their passion for people and dedication to building up their business,” said William Aubuchon IV, president and CEO. “It’s important to pause and salute the long successful careers of Martin and Kathleen—congratulations to you both!”
“We are so grateful for the loyalty and support of our customers and cannot begin to say how incredibly thankful we are to have had the pleasure of working alongside so many dedicated and caring people who have always put customer service and our business above anything else. Our team has become part of our family. Without them, Martin’s Hardware would not be what it is today. They have been the core of our business and our success is a huge reflection of their efforts and abilities,” said Kathleen.
“We have loved being involved in our community for so many years and it is bittersweet to end our careers but the time is right for us to move on and give the stores the ability to continue to grow under new ownership. We feel like Aubuchon has the ability to do just that. They are family run for 114 years with similar values. They are committed to their business but more importantly to their employees and communities in which they serve. We look forward to supporting our team through this transition so that our customers and community will continue to be supported for many years to come,” said Martin.
The store in Bristol will continue to operate as Martin’s Hardware & Building Supply. The existing Aubuchon Hardware store in Middlebury (1.5 miles away from Martin’s) will merge into the Martin’s location in Middlebury. The new combined store will be rebranded as Aubuchon Hardware. A third store operated by Martin’s in Brattleboro, Vt., is not part of the acquisition and will close.
“We’ll soon be officially welcoming the Martin’s team to the Aubuchon family. We work hard, take care of each other and have fun,” said Aubuchon. “We couldn’t be more excited to carry on the legacy of Martin’s Hardware.”
The legacy of Martin’s Hardware & Building Supply started in 1904 with the opening of Tomasi Hardware in Bristol, Vt. Originally located on Main Street, Tomasi eventually moved to the current location on West Street during the mid-century. Denton Lyon took over in 1977 and operated the store as Lyon Hardware and Building Supply. Then in 1995, Martin and Kathleen Clark purchased the store and Martin’s Hardware & Building Supply was born. The company originally started with six employees and has grown to more than 35 people across three locations in Vermont: Bristol, Middlebury (opened in 2006), and Brattleboro (opened in 2014). The Martin’s team has always striven to serve the needs of the community by providing great service and offering a wide variety of available products.
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 Martin’s Hardware & Building Supply, the Aubuchon Company will operate 110 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., Cornell’s Hardware in Eastchester, N.Y., and now Martin’s Hardware & Building Supply in Bristol, Vt. The company’s mission is to build up the strongest group of local hardware stores and brands across the country.