When someone from another town drives through Glen Rock, they may notice the preponderance of the chains stores – Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and a significant number of banks dot the landscape. But the residents of Glen Rock know it has treasures on Rock Road, and not just the town’s namesake.
Glen Rock’s number of mom-and-pop stores are something that makes Glen Rock unique, so when Glen Rock Facebook page member Jane Lambert posted about the having difficulties, the town responded with concern.
Andrew Ritterman, a local parent who grew up in Glen Rock himself, responded on the page, saying that the owner of Glen Rock Hardware, Geno, was a sincere man, and recalled the squeaking floorboards and friendliness of the shop from his childhood, when he’d go there with his father on the weekends after moving to Glen Rock.
After doing some internet research, Ritterman came upon an idea – a cash mob – based on the idea of ‘flash mobs’, where a large group of people shows up at the same time and spends a small amount of money; in this case, around twenty dollars on Saturday, June 16 at 10 a.m.
The Glen Rock Facebook page has sparked many similar discussions, and has encouraged a community bond amongst Glen Rockers, and the thread concerning the hardware store, with over 50 comments, shows the willingness of the community to come together to help out this local shop, and one another.
Glen Rock Hardware is a retail staple in the borough, a fixture on Rock Road for about 100 years.
In 1927, it opened as an ice cream parlor with a hardware shop in the back. As new ownership emerged, the store changed from an ice cream shop, to a “5&10”, to what it is today; a hardware store that sells everything from coin tricks and candy, to mixed paint and power tools.
The current owner, Geno Paolucci, bought the store in 2003 when he moved to Glen Rock from Manhattan. He says there were some tough years to start, and some better times when the economy was booming.
Still, in the rough economic times facing the nation, the hardware store has loyal customers.
“The people are so great, they keep coming back,” Paolucci said Monday with a smile.
He recalls a time when there was a storm coming, and he’d found a source for batteries in PA and bought them so that Glen Rock wouldn’t be without them.
“I was the only store in the county with batteries,” Paolucci said. The reciprocal sense of community is clearly a big part of Glen Rock hardware.
The cash mob idea Ritterman put forward is an exciting way for Glen Rock to help out the local stores.
“It’s not Jane, not Andy, but Glen Rock,” Ritterman said. “I’m just hoping it inspires people.”
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