Pitkin’s Home Center Opens its Fourth Location – Rice Hardware, Manassas

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Provided by Pitkin’s Home Center

The Pitkin’s hardware story starts in Upstate New York (Schroon Lake) during the 1950s with Lawrence J. Pitkin (“Larry”). Larry owned a small hardware store called Pitkin Hardware — a photo of a grass seed bag with the Pitkin Hardware name on it can be found here. Larry (and his wife Coral) raised two boys (Ron and Tom) in Schroon Lake. After college, Ron went off to the Navy where he became a submarine commander, while Tom settled in Albany to raise his family. When Ron decided to retire from the Navy in 1978, he called his brother to ask if he was interested in purchasing a hardware store in Dale City. Together they bought Handyman Hardware in the Glendale Plaza on Dale Boulevard, starting Pitkin’s Home Center.

Eventually, Tom would buy out Ron and continue to run the business until the early 2000s when Tom decided to retire. He asked his four daughters (Jill, Kari, Sarah and Amy) if any of them were interested in taking over the family business. Sarah and Amy decided they should continue the hardware tradition that started with Pop-Pop (Larry). Together, they worked with their dad (and their mom, Brenda) learning the ropes at a time when women owners of hardware stores were rare in the hardware industry. This did not discourage them; they learned the trade and are now experts when it comes to all things hardware. “The girls,” as they were called when they started, have held industry-wide positions as board members of the NRHA (National Retail Hardware Association) and the PALS group (Progressive Ace Leaders). Nearly 20 years later, women owned hardware stores are a common occurrence in the Metro DC area.

Over the years, Pitkin’s has expanded and contracted; locations in Dillingham Square and Sully Station were opened for periods of time. Currently, Pitkin’s owns four hardware stores — Dale City Hardware (the original store at Glendale Plaza), Woodbine Hardware (Woodbine Shopping Center on Route 234), Locust Grove Hardware (Orange County on Route 3), and the newest addition Rice Hardware (Manassas Shopping Center).

As they start their journey with Rice Hardware, they ask that you stop by and say hello. They have the same friendly, helpful hardware people. The products may change a little, the store may be re-arranged a little, but the family traditions continue. They sponsor youth sports. They work with various non-profits. They donate their time — Amy is actively involved in Youth Hockey while Sarah spends her spare time on several non-profit boards (Didlake, the ARC, the Potomac Health Foundation). Amy, her husband Richard and their children (C.J., Amanda, and Mason) can be seen in the stores working. Sarah, her husband Jason, and their children (Gigi, Tommy, Izzy, and Mosby) can be found helping out in the stores as well.

Please stop by and say hello. You will be greeted with a smile and a “How can we help you today?”


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