Deb Falkenhan has owned and operated Falkenhan’s Hardware in Hamden for nearly 16 years. We caught up with her to learn a little more about what she loves about the business and the history of the store.
*Photo Credit: Baltimore Style Magazine
Tell us a little bit about Falkenhan’s Hardware and how you came to this part of Baltimore.
Falkenhan’s Hardware was originally started in 1968 when my father, Frank Falkenhan, bought the building (called Mt. Vernon Hall) at 3401-03 Chestnut Ave. The store at that time was called Benson’s Hardware, and had been Towson Hardware before that. He operated the store, along with his plumbing and real estate businesses with his sister for 20 years. In 1988, the hardware business was sold to Ken and Earl Klock. Thus, Klock’s Hardware was born. In 1997 my father approached me about re-opening the store with his help. We totally renovated the space, and I reopened the store on June 17, 1998, now going on 16 years. As to how I came to this part of Baltimore, I was born here. My parents lived on Chestnut Ave, then Roland Ave, and other than a 6 month stint in Philly I have been in Hampden pretty much ever since.
What do you love most about owning a business in Hampden?
There are many reasons! It is where I grew up and I know so many people in the area by name. Its great to know that the neighborhood girl does well. Walking to and from work is great (no rush hour!) I have the opportunity to get to know my customers – new and old and there are other great business owners to discuss ideas with and get support from. Seeing the smile on customers’ faces when they realize they don’t have to leave the neighborhood is really a treat.
Q3: What prompted you to renew your sponsorship of GHCC this year?
I believe in sponsoring local, just like I want people to shop local. After all, I wouldn’t be in business if everyone ran to the box stores for all of their shopping. Although I couldn’t attend the Neighborhood Institute, I think this is a great idea for people to work together for a stronger neighborhood.
What do you most appreciate about GHCC’s work as a local business owner?
GHCC does some great things. Promoting and supporting neighborhoods is important. There are so many sections of Baltimore that are not as fortunate as the areas around GHCC, where so many people want to live. I love the things going on at the 29th Street Community Center and can’t wait to try some of the classes there. Also, because GHCC promotes city living, whether it is rental or homeowner, it brings me new customers who I hope will become lifelong customers.
Do you have a favorite customer-service experience you would like to share with us?
There really aren’t any favorites, but there are several that come to mind. There was the little boy who said “Mommy, I have to pee!” and he did right where he was standing in the store. Gus the yellow lab who used to come in with Bob and walk right behind the counter and sit down waiting for his treats, as well as the many people who loved CopCar, the hardware cat – some came just to see him and get their “CopCar fix”. The smiles you see when you fix an old faucet stem or have a brand new one or finding something that people haven’t been able to find. Customer service is very important in a small business and I want all customers to walk out knowing we did our best for them, whether we had what they needed or not.
Falkenhan’s Hardware is located at 3401 Chestnut Ave. Baltimore, MD 21211
They can be reached at 410-235-7771, open Mon -Fri 8am – 6pm and Sat 8am – 5pm
Services Provided: Key duplication, pipe cut & threaded, small lamp repairs, glass & acrylic cut, sharpening services
Supplies kept in stock: Basic hardware, electrical, painting, plumbing, houseware supplies; small wood products – i.e. 1×3,2×4,etc., seasonal items