Majestic’s Hardware, a cornerstone of Gardiner’s charmed hamlet, has one leg steeped in the past and one leg pointed firmly towards the future. Owned and operated by the Majestic family since 1947, the local hardware store has been sold to Michael Ciavolino, a Long Island transplant who could not pass up the opportunity he saw with this 2,700-square-foot building built circa 1930. “It’s got this great vintage look and old-school feel,” said Ciavolino, pointing to the original Benjamin Moore sign from 1961 that hangs off one of the two red barns in the back of the store.
Being in the retail business for years, Ciavolino wanted to make sure that the hardware store could be a “one-stop shop” for homeowners in Gardiner. “There are 1,700 houses in Gardiner, and we’re the only store,” he said. “So, I put in a Benjamin Moore paint department, added basic household items like kitchenware, textiles, cleaning products…” You can get Meyers cleaning goods, laundry detergent, an oven mitt or a coffeemaker while picking up paint or screws or lumber or fuel. “I grew up going to the hardware store on the weekend with my Dad. It was like an event,” he recalled. “They had everything there, and it was where people congregated. That’s what I wanted to create here: a real neighborhood store, but with the same convenience as Amazon.” To that end, Majestic’s Hardware will now deliver any order costing $25 and up to your front door the next day. “If you order it on a Thursday, we’ll have it to you on a Friday,” said the new owner. “We have a 400,000-square-foot warehouse in Montgomery where we can store things that we can’t fit here. So, we’re a brick-and-tech operation. We’re blending the two.”
If there’s a certain grill that you want or a snowblower that you need that Majestic’s Hardware carries, but is not stocked in the store located at the intersection of Dusinberre Road and Main Street in Gardiner, you can order it from the website and they will have it delivered to the shop or to your home. “We also do wholesale, so there are three sides to our business,” he explained, noting that the store is part of a cooperative called Do It Best, which supplies 3,200 stores, similar to an Ace or TrueValue cooperative.
What Ciavolino is also focused on is making the atmosphere in the store inviting. “We want to be part of the community and give back to the community — or else what are you doing this for?” He instituted a $1 coffee counter where people can get a free mug and a cup of coffee when they come in, as well as a five-gallon bucket sale “where you fit as much as you can into the bucket and you get 20 percent off everything,” he said. They’re having a Black Friday event and provide one percent of their sales to Helping Hands, a local food pantry, every month. “We already donated all of the turkeys for Thanksgiving and for Christmas, because that’s the type of store we want to be,” he said. “I believe that you need to have a sense of social responsibility when you’re in business.”
Knowing that Gardiner is also a magnet for weekenders and campground enthusiasts, the store sells $9.99 20-gallon propane tanks for campers and barbecuers, as well as wood pellets for outdoor and indoor pellet stoves, kerosene, animal feed, salt-and-sand mix and a large selection of Stihl chainsaws. “We sell a ton of those!” he said. All of the fuel and feed are in the back barns, and upstairs in the main store they have their plumbing, heating and electric supplies.
If you’re having difficulty choosing a color for your new bathroom or renovated basement, you can go to Majestic’s Hardware for “free-pint Friday,” where you can get a free can of paint and see how it looks once it’s splashed on the wall. “Instead of people buying gallons of paint and getting stuck with a color they hate, we just give them a pint on Friday, and then they can really see if this is the color they want to invest in,” he said.
What’s old is new and what’s new is old at Majestic’s Hardware. The doors are open and the coffee is hot, and Ciavolino wants to live by his new store motto: “Majestic’s Hardware is Good for the Soul.” You can call (845) 255-5494 or go to www.majesticshardware.com to learn more — or stop in and introduce yourself.