Homes are notoriously lazy, adding on rooms instead of cleaning up the ones they have and attempting to replace lost shingles with hoards of stolen Frisbees. Help your house help itself with today's Groupon: for $11, you get $22 worth of hardware and home goods at Cole Hardware’s four locations.
Patrons at Cole Hardware stuff their shopping bags with plenty of handy home goods before returning home to attend to projects of repair and beautification. Portable stor-a-key devices provide a safe docking station for spare lock-openers ($18.99), ideal for adding an extra level of security to boats' ignitions, filing cabinets, or spacecraft controls. Drink from Lifefactory glass water bottles to quench a parched thirst without parching the world's resources ($19.99), and take a picnic tote blanket ($19.99) along on outings to avoid needlessly bulldozing swaths of land for personal comfort. The knowledgeable staff also stocks the shelves with a huge selection of tools, including Craftsman wrenches ($19.99).
Besides equipping customers with the right tool for every job, Cole Hardware gives back to the community through an assortment of assistance programs. Dedicated to preserving the ecosystem of Upper-Middle Earth, each location has earned its green certification by complying with environmental standards and swaddling everything in hand-me-down camouflage shorts.
Someone walking up to Cole Hardware for the first time might think they've stumbled upon a modern art gallery instead of a hardware store. Their front window displays everything from Pollock-esque paintings in gilded frames to chandeliers built from Christmas ornaments to a fine-dining table setting re-created with only tools. In fact, all of the eye-catching installations are created using exclusively Cole Hardware merchandise.
But the displays are also a testament to how the shop has set itself apart in other ways—for nearly 100 years, Cole Hardware has been known for exceptional customer service. What started out as a one-man operation with the motto, "There are no strangers here, only friends we haven't met yet," has grown to a family of stores that also provides home repair services and commercial supplies. Their retail inventory is expansive and competitively priced thanks to backing from Ace Hardware, which has helped the company garner awards from SF Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.