Brent Shaw serves Zac & Maddie

By Mike Anderson

Brent Shaw rang in his last sale at Shaw Pro Hardware on August 22. And it seemed fitting that his last customers were his grandchildren, Zac and Maddie.

After all, Shaw is passing the torch to his daughter Laura and her husband Brandon Baker, who will be moving the business and opening Pefferlaw Hardware in a plaza at 281 Pefferlaw Rd. this fall.

Shaw Pro Hardware, located in a metal Quonset hut at 533 Pefferlaw Rd., has been an institution in Pefferlaw for nearly 25 years.

The unusual building has drawn more than its fair share of comments over the years, but Shaw says it has served him well.

“Everybody thinks it’s an army barracks or a farm shed, but you know as long as you have the product, nobody worries about where it is,” he said.

“Actually, it’s a great building, and there have only been one or two years that I’ve paid $2,000 to heat it for the year. So, it’s energy-efficient. I made it that way.”

Over the years, residents have come to count on Shaw to provide excellent service and save them from driving to Sutton or Beaverton to buy hardware.

“It has been very rewarding to serve the residents and the businesses that are up here,” he said.

“The businesses often send someone to pick upĀ an item for someone else. So they want to send that person where the seller knows what they might want. And we do that pretty well.”

Shaw says he’s had some unusual requests over the years, but one customer stands out.

“He wanted to buy toilet bowl rings with the wax in it. And it had to be bee’s wax in the ring because he took those, chopped them all up in the little pieces, and sold them to people who wanted wax for their dreadlocks. He used to buy 20 at a time.” he recalled.

With more than 30 years in the hardware business, Shaw has also seen some big changes.

“Hardware has become increasingly specialized,” he said.

“When I started 33 years ago, there was zinc plated wood screws and metal screws. And now, there are hundreds of different specialty types of screws for every purpose. And that’s what everybody wants. You don’t sell any regular screws hardly anymore.”

“The same has happened in light bulbs. There used to be 20 different skews of light bulbs. Now there are 450 SKUs of light bulbs, and you still don’t have everything, but you can come pretty close.”

Shaw is happy to pass the business to his daughter Laura, who grew up in her dad’s store.

But he isn’t just fading away into retirement. He will be mentoring the young couple and helping them get the new store up and running.

While Laura and Brandon are excited to carry on the family business, they hope customers will be patient.

“I think people are going to have to be a little bit patient because we don’t have the years of knowledge that Brent does,” Laura said.

“The product turnover is constant, so we’ll have to read a lot of hardware magazines and go to a lot of trade shows the first few years.”

“We have some big shoes to fill with Brent,” Brandon added.

“The biggest challenge is living up to the name that Brent has built up over the last 30 years.”

But they admit all that goodwill might just be their ticket to success.

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