WILTON, Conn. – As the racks of the new Wilton Hardware store are filled with tools, duct tape and other home supplies, the anticipation for opening day grows for Tom Sato.
“From having a blank slate to an almost fully stocked store is very exciting,” said Sato, owner of the new hardware store that will officially open its doors on River Road in a couple of weeks. “I think the town is looking forward to the opening.”
The new business will fill a void left when Keeler’s True Value closed more than a year ago. Sato, a Wilton resident for 26 years, knew Keeler's former owner Dave Lind and thought it would be nice to open a new hardware shop for his neighbors to get what they need for weekend projects without having to drive very far. Sato was approved for a True Value franchise last April and secured the store space about three months ago.
Most of the store’s aisles are filled but for a few items, including some paints. The front door must also be installed.
The Wilton Chamber of Commerce said residents listed the lack of a hardware store as a void that most needed to be filled.
Owning a hardware store will be a change for Sato, who previously worked for The A Team, a marketing agency in New York City. The new business means getting to work will be much easier. “I’m totally excited about giving up that commute and spending more time in the community,” he said.
Sato will be one of six people working at Wilton Hardware. He’s hoping to hire local high school students for part-time work on weekends and after school.