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Bristol Area Lions Club Learns About Running an Independent Hardware Business 12/08/2012

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Gardiner at Lions Club

King Lion John Janell thanks speaker Rob Gardiner for his recent presentation to the Bristol Area Lions Club.)

At a recent meeting the Bristol Lions Club learned some of the nuts and bolts of the independent hardware business from Rob Gardiner, president and store manager of Damariscotta Hardware. His family has owned the business since 1955, when they took over Lincoln County Hardware on Main Street in Damariscotta.

After a devastating fire leveled that location in 1959, Rob’s father erected a new building farther up Main Street.

Having started to work at the store at age 12, Gardiner has seen tremendous growth in his family’s business. By the late 1990s Damariscotta Hardware outgrew its space, so in 2000 the family purchased a five acre lot and built a new store at its current location.

Over the years, Gardiner has added package shipping and vacuum cleaner repair services to the business, as well as live plant sales, extended operating hours and better lines of rental equipment. A true humanitarian, Rob Gardiner recently participated in Larry Sidelinger’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Truck effort by donating several pallets of cleaning supplies.

Gardiner is particularly proud of some of Damariscotta Hardware’s most current projects, using his own building as a demonstration model for innovative energy saving systems. In 2009 an efficient wood gasification boiler was installed by Poland and Holley, heating the building from underneath the floor and relying on fuel oil only as a back-up.

The following year, Gardiner had Maine Energy Performance Solutions install 301 solar panels on the roof. Currently yielding 70% of the electric usage in the store, the system will pay for itself over the next 10 years.

In the business meeting that followed Gardiner’s talk, a report was given on the successful Lions Club Liberty Day event held recently at Bristol Consolidated School, during which local fifth graders had a discussion of the U.S. Constitution with State Senator Chris Johnson and Lions First District Governor Leo Gould. Other Club reports updated some final renovations to the kitchen at the Willing Workers Hall and the upcoming Bristol Lions Christmas food basket distribution, which is being coordinated with Reilly’s Grocery in New Harbor.

The next meeting of the Bristol Area Lions Club will take place on Monday, January 7, 2013. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, please call 677-6191, and to learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, contact John Janell at 563-7402.


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