by June Portnoy
In 1917, Finkles opened its doors in Lambertville establishing a unique winning formula that has enabled it to continuously thrive for nearly a century.
“We provide a depth and breadth of hardware products unmatched by practically any competitor in the area,” says Rachel Finkle, third generation owner whose grandfather, Joseph Finkle, founded the business.
Inside you’ll discover a world of hardware, consisting of virtually everything you’ll need to renovate or update your home or commercial building.
“We have developed a double identity of both retail customers and contractors because we can satisfy each group’s hardware needs,” adds Rachel.
Finkles’ diversity of products range from decorative and industrial hardware to electrical, lighting, heating and plumbing supplies, as well as steel.
Over the years, Abe Finkle, Rachel’s father, expanded the store’s variety and extensive supply of merchandise by adding three buildings, now occupying 30,000 square feet, all in walking distance along the same block. Directly across the street from its main hardware store is its lighting showcase and warehouse. Next door is a building consisting of miscellaneous merchandise such as electric heaters, toilets and canning jars.
And finally, its fourth warehouse is filled with large, bulky items like gutters, pipes, steel and pallets of concrete and mortar.
Even though Finkles is a family owned, single branched store, its prices remain competitive for its quality merchandise.
Another component of Finkles’ winning formula is its knowledgeable salespeople.
“Unlike many of the large chain hardware stores whose sales staff operates like a revolving door, the majority of our salespeople have been with us for an average of 20 years,” says Rachel. “We even have one salesperson who has worked here for 45 years.”
As a result, you won’t get that typical blind stare you receive from novice salespeople at many hardware stores or home centers. Every salesperson here has their own area of expertise and can confidently answer your questions. In addition, they will spend as much time with you as necessary to help you with your order.
When you come to Finkles, it’s unlikely that you won’t find what you’re looking for, but on the rare occasion when that happens, a salesperson is always happy to special order what you need. After all these years, Finkles continues to be run like a traditional Mom and Pop store with Rachel and her husband, Sven Helmer, working as hands-on owners.
In addition, their son, Jonah, 14, is currently working here this summer, becoming the fourth generation to work at Finkles. Likewise, the store has loyal customers, many of whom reminisce about shopping here with their grandfather or father, and are now bringing their children to Finkles.
“It’s very unusual for a store today to serve third and fourth generation customers,” says Rachel, but she believes it all comes back to offering a winning formula of providing a breadth and depth of merchandise by experienced staff who go that extra mile to assist their customers.
For more information about Finkles, located at 7 Coryell Street, call 609-397-0415 or visit www.finkles.com.
Store hours are Fridays from 7:00am until 5:00pm and Saturdays from 8:00am until 3:00pm.
PHOTO CAP: Rachel Finkle and Sven Helmer