Tags Hardware, a Cambridge, MA-based housewares and hardware store, is changing hands. Owners Simon Shapiro and Mardi Moran are selling the business that has been in their family for 60 years to Senneth Berrier, who owns three hardware stores in the area.
“I have known him for years. He was a mentor to me and has always been so progressive,” Berrier told GourmetInsider.com. “He got me into Gourmet Catalog and all of my stores are Gourmet Catalog members now.”
Shapiro was not immediately available for comment. However, he did tell the Boston Globe that there was a simple reason for selling the store.
“We’re old,” he told The Globe. “I’m 74 and [Moran] is 73. You should be able to walk out and not need to be carried out.”
Opened in 1955 by Shapiro’s father, Norton, Tags initially was a hardware store only. Simon Shapiro was the driver of the store’s expansion into housewares during the 1970s.
“[Shapiro] is so on top of everything that the store always has the latest and greatest in housewares,” Berrier said. “I want to keep it going. The only thing I want to do – and [Shapiro] has been waiting – is do a little bit more with the downstairs, the hardware. Just freshen it up a little.”
And while she does admit to feeling a little bit of pressure taking over such a beloved area store, Berrier said that her staff and the staff at Tags will ease the transition.
“Their staff has been there so long that they actually know what will sell and what won’t when it comes to products. But we have it that there are levels of people who take care of the store and they will take care of all of the stores,” she explained.
She added, “I am excited. I want to keep this store going. They worked so hard and now it’s time for them to enjoy life. But, they don’t live very far away. I’m sure they will always be open to helping.”