Wanted: A local buyer for one of the oldest businesses in town.
OB Hardware at 4871 Newport Ave. is on the auction block, and present co-owner Michael DeEmidio, who bought the business from the previous owners in 2018, is moving on.
“After a lot of heavy-hearted consideration, my wife and I have decided to move out of California to be closer to family,” said DeEmidio. “We are reaching out to the community in an effort to find someone to whom we can pass the OB Hardware baton. Ideally, someone invested in the community who wants to care for this legacy and leave their mark. We will be relocating this fall, so it is pressing that any interested parties step up now.”
DeEmedio and business partner Michael Grimes bought OB Hardware from Carl and Carolyn Weidetz, who’d owned the century-old Ocean Beach Paint and Hardware for half that time. The business, which opened in 1919, carries tools, gardening, plumbing, and electrical supplies as well as paints.
DeEmedio’s targeted June 1 as the date by which he needs to find a buyer for his hardware business. Though his plans have changed, he said he’s never regretted his experience as a beach-town retailer.
“When I decided to jump in, they (Weidetzs) were going out of business,” he noted. “It was worth the time and effort. I left my corporate job and I don’t regret it. We’ve managed to rebuild the store.”
Added DeEmidio of the store, “It’s in a much better position than it was when we took over, financially speaking. It’s more functional. We’ve got a lot of inventory. We’ve been here and the community loves it. We’ve got a lot of momentum. We’re hoping we can find someone to step in and kind of do what we’ve done.”
DeEmedio said the ideal candidate to buy his hardware business would be “someone with a retail background and a good business sense. We would prefer someone from the community that kind of knows the store at least, knows what the community is about.”
The hardware store owner said there are many advantages to owning a mom-and-pop in a beach town like OB, adding he’s tried, as much as possible, to reciprocate the community’s goodwill.
“People here know our employees will help them as soon as they get through the door,” he said. “It’s really a joy. I love spending time here. You come to work and learn a ton. And not just from the business side. I’ve learned the world of hardware, and it’s just invaluable for life.”
DeEmedio talked about one big addition they’ve added in their three years of hardware store ownership.
“Our whole backroom now is gardening,” he said. “And we’re not planning on scaling back on inventory. Gardening season is coming up and we’ve got a great garden section now.”
Of his store inventory, DeEmidio said, “We carry everything from fasteners, screws, and nails to plumbing, electrical, and kitchen items. We do screen repairs. We make keys. We joke that ‘We have a little bit of everything, but we don’t have a lot of anything.’ We’re really a one-stop-shop.”
Anyone interested in purchasing OB Hardware should contact broker Mitch McGinley at [email protected] or 404-272-9108.