Mitch and Becky Martin always enjoyed going on outings to hardware stores together, so when the opportunity came up to open a Hammer Hardware, they thought it would be a good fit.
The couple have renovated several homes, and Mitch has 10 years experience as a painter and decorator.
Mitch says the new shop is like the convenience store of hardware and it means local handymen, gardeners and contractors no longer have to drive to Warkworth for basic supplies.
“The difference between us and a big box store is that we get to know the customers. Some people have come in all five days that we have been open just for a chat and a look around,” he says. “It’s the way it used to be, and we think it is pretty special. For us, it’s about providing a service for the community.”
The gardening section has also been extremely popular, with most customers stopping to have a look.
There are no similar options for flowers and small plants in the area, Mitch says.
Prior to opening the store, Becky has worked in accounts while Mitch has worked in oil and gas extraction as a management-level engineer, working on a month-on, month-off basis in locations such as Angola and Kazakhstan.
The couple lived in Houston for four years and the Philippines for five, and moved to Wellsford four years ago to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
The Martins originally bought the site at 29 Station Road as an investment opportunity and have proceeded to convert what was a bus depot into a freshly painted and fitted store.
At the same time, they are running a beef farm on their 30ha property.
Mitch says most Kiwis have a practical side and a love of DIY, and they are no different.