By David Sinclair, board member
I spent an afternoon with Ron Young, owner Ferguson’s hardware store, on 6423 Frederick Road. It’s been in his family since the mid-fifties and there’s still a taste of the period when you walk through the door, beginning with the circa 1930’s mechanical National cash register. His stepfather offered him a part-time job in the mid-seventies and sold the job as “long hours, low pay, and no benefits”, Young replied, “I’ll take it”. Then in 1977 Young purchased the store.
Young has seen a lot of small and large hardware shops come and go over the years. However, he’s been able to sustain a core of customers and provide services that are in demand. “We try to focus on things we do well”. Ferguson’s has a little bit of everything at competitive prices. Key duplications of all kinds, including difficult duplications, are one of his specialties. He cuts a large number of keys for the county government. He also cuts glass and does a significant amount of window, screen, storm door, wood window, and wood screen repairs. Young calls himself a perfectionist and takes great care with his repairs. His wife Nati, who also works part time with the business, takes great pride in choosing beautiful and colorful flowers to sell. Their spring and fall flower sales are a staple revenue generator for the business.
Young would love the government to slow the traffic down on Frederick Road for safety and business reasons. He feels it would help improve the foot traffic and slow people down to see the variety of things that Paradise can offer. He recalls the dramatic drop in traffic when Loyola Federal Savings Bank left (where Pizza Hut now stands). He would love to reintroduce “Spend a day in Paradise”, a former program sponsored by the PCA which encouraged people to come out and spend some time in the Paradise Town Center.
Sales have been down for Ferguson’s in the slumping economy. Young has hope for an improved upcoming economic year, but anticipates further weakness before an upturn. He has hopes for the economy and the prospect of more foot traffic across the board for the town center.
Parking and crime are two major concerns for Young. Traffic has been “a constant battle” for the parking to be available for patrons and not store owners. Crime is on Young’s mind with some local businesses being hit lately. Young feels the neighborhood in general has cleaned up from years ago. The people are a little different and there’s less blatant drug dealing. There still are some pockets of individuals loitering, but they usually are encouraged to clear out. He recalled that he hadn’t seen any BCPD on foot patrol lately and would like to see a larger presence here in our community on the ground.
Young regards the PCA and is appreciative of their interest in the community and of this Focus on Business initiative. Please stop in this spring and purchase their fabulous flowers and hanging baskets, or stop in earlier for any basic home and garden needs.
Ferguson’s Hardware – 6423 Frederick Road – Ron Young – (410) 747-5778
Please click this image for a full slideshow of Ferguson’s Hardware.