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It’s Christmas, toys, hardware and family ties at this enduring Main Line shop | Maria Panaritis

November 28, 2018 GMT

By Staff

It’s a hardware store on the street level, a toy store on the second floor, a Christmas wonderland in the basement. Sometimes you’ll even find tomatoes, honey and other out-of-place stuff for sale. But this 67-year-old family business at the terminus of Philadelphia’s most prestigious train line is, more than anything else, a miracle.

Everyone who works there would agree – and you can usually see their mugs proudly displayed on a front-door poster except, with the holidays here, that poster is covered over with a giant Santa-is-coming-this-Saturday flyer. They would tell you that The Hardware Center in Paoli is a special place. A small business still kicking after opening after World War II on Lancaster Pike. A place still in the same Italian-American family’s hands. A place where humanity is as much a part of the shopping experience as the stuff on its shelves.


DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer Employees and their years of service at The Hardware Center in the Paoli Shopping Center Tuesday November 27, 2018

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