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Family-owned hardware store closes its doors after 76 years

"I need time to spend with my family," said co-owner Steve Schaefer. The store plans to donate leftover items to Habitat for Humanity.

GOLDEN, Colo. — Meyer Hardware in Golden has been in Steve Schaefer's family for three generations and 76 years.

“My grandparents started the store in 1945," Schaefer said, standing next to the register he trained on in the 1960s, which was on display at the store.

Ownership of the business went down from his grandfather, to his father, and then to him and his wife.

On Saturday, the store took its final customers and Schaefer turned off their "open" sign for the final time.

“I’m ready to retire after working here for 56 years and … just, it’s time,” Schaefer said. “We’re not going out of business because we have to – the store has done very well – it’s not because of competition, not because of COVID. I need time to spend with my family."

Family and friends came by the store on its last day.

"Being part of the Golden community for all these years – you know there's like a marriage, if you will, between all of our customers and all of our staff," Schaefer said.

Credit: Mat Gaskins
Meyer Hardware co-owner Steve Schaefer stands with the register he trained on at the store back in the 1960s.

Many staff members have worked at the store for more than 20 years, Schaefer said.

Employee Hank Krausman said he was happy for the opportunity to work there for the past 10 years.

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“They really do a great job for their community, and the people in this whole area are really sad about his closing," Krausman said, as he sorted through old hooks and price tags at the back of the store. “Whenever you need something, someone’s there to help you.”

He added that the customers have been wonderful through the years.  

"They become friends, and a lot of those people have just come in to thank us for being here all these years," he said.

Even though the store will be gone, it will leave its mark on the community in a different way: Through donating items to Habitat for Humanity.

RELATED: Celebrating the largest Habitat for Humanity community in Colorado

"We contacted Habitat for Humanity this last week, and they're excited about getting, you know, getting a donation from all this merchandise. That way, it can be reused and go to a good home," Schaefer said.

The building itself is up for sale. Schaefer said the store donated items to the Golden History Museum in hopes of having them displayed.

“Local businesses, I think, are the foundation of our economy, and interaction with consumers and businesses in the small community especially are paramount, and without that, I think we would be losing something," Schaefer said.