Hardware Store and Fuel Pit Stop Go Extra Mile During Grocery Shortage

Hardware Store
Pit Stop

Since the Island General Store closed its doors for the duration of the winter back in December, Island Hardware Store and Fuel Pit Stop expanded their normal product line to provide essential grocery items to Put-in-Bay residents.  Tony Kowalski at the Pit Stop reports, “The business fell in our lap; it was a natural progression for our store.”  Island Hardware responded to community requests for service, according to Jason Cooper.  Commenting on the new development, resident Heidi Ladd, who was browsing cheerfully at the Hardware Store, said, “I’m so glad the island businesses have stepped up.  We could have been in an awful fix!”  Without the convenience of local shopping, islanders rely on special air shipments via Island Air Taxi, for example.   [click images to enlarge]

Pit Stop
Hardware Store
Hardware Store

Extra preparations at the Pit Stop include new shelves, clearing and scrubbing racks, finding baskets for produce, installing an automated cappuccino maker, and upgrading freezers.  The hardware store added a fresh-food cooler, lined up suppliers who serve small and low-volume retailers, re-purposed racks, and even borrowed an ice cream cooler from

Hardware Store

The Boathouse.  Products are chosen to satisfy basic needs, and delivery schedules range from twice a week at the Pit Stop to “as needed” at Island Hardware.

Pit Stop
Pit Stop

Tony Kowalski remarked, “The cappuccino machine is a big hit, but all of our variety definitely is a draw.”  Coffee cakes, milk, bread, ice cream, and pizza are the popular items selling at the Hardware Store, according to Jason Cooper.

Pit Stop

Community response is “phenomenal” and “fantastic,” report the business representatives.  Tony added, “We’ve seen many new faces and hope they’ll keep coming back.”  Jason said, “Lots of people give thanks and helpful feedback.”  Patty Frederick, another happy shopper, offered this comment: “I’m so glad!  They are all doing a wonderful job.  I’m very thankful!”