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Benjamin Moore® Color of the Year: Caliente AF-290

benmooreStrong, radiant, and full of energy, Caliente exerts total confidence. According to Benjamin Moore’s creative director, Ellen O’Neill, it’s the signature color of a modern architectural masterpiece; a lush carpet rolled out for a grand arrival; the assured backdrop for a book-lined library; a powerful first impression on a glossy front door. This warm, rich red pairs well with White Opulence OC-69 and Wolf Gray 2127-40. Caliente will transform a bedroom, dining room, or living room into a stunning space. Or consider using it for an accent wall to add some dimension to your home with a touch of color.

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The 30-Year Club: Shel, Lai Ling, and Yung

30clubTalk about loyalty! Cole Hardware is fortunate to have three crew members who each celebrated their 30-year anniversaries recently—that’s 90 years of hardware knowledge among them! Meet the crew members: Shel, Cole Valley store manager; Lai Ling, accounting and office manager; and Yung, downtown warehouse manager. Longtime customers will surely recognize Shel as their helpful, friendly hardware man. Shel began his first stint with us during the Carter administration, and he has helped customers through many events, such as the Loma Prieta earthquake, and has witnessed all the changes the Haight and Cole Valley neighborhoods have gone through over the years. Shel and Rick first met in seventh grade and became friends in their ninth-grade public speaking class. In 1979, Rick contacted him when he was looking for someone to hire as the store manager. In 1983, Shel moved to Israel, where he met his lovely wife, Remi, moving back to the Bay Area after about 18 months. Shel and Remi are big sports fans and also enjoy going to see good films and just spending time with friends. Once a long-suffering fan of the Golden State Warriors, Shel has enjoyed the The 30-Year Club recent success of the team. Shel also likes to be challenged by how much more merchandise he can cram into the Cole Valley store, often describing it as a 4,000-square-foot store with 20,000 square feet of merchandise.
Somewhat behind the scenes, Lai Ling manages the “heartbeat” of Cole Hardware. Our organization has a huge number of moving parts, and ultimately, they all come home to roost in Lai Ling’s realm. Lai Ling and her capable team operate out of our downtown location. Every bill, every invoice, every payment, every paycheck, every deposit, every regulation, every financial relationship—Lai Ling is in control! She and her team do a fine job keeping us afloat and humming, and Lai Ling has grown from her first job with us as a file clerk to be one of Cole Hardware’s most essential crew members. Lai Ling appreciates the growth opportunities she’s had with Cole Hardware, and she cherishes the family-like atmosphere in the business. When she’s not busy working her magic in our accounting office, Lai Ling and her husband enjoy traveling to their native China.
Warehouse manager of our downtown store, Yung governs his stockroom like a tight ship and is often tasked with overseeing our massive holiday receiving. A trusted guide to our next generation of warehouse crew, Yung has been around long enough to know all of the ins and outs of our inventory. Yung recognizes the importance of his job and has his finger on the pulse of the store, knowing who is in need of help without having to ask. Keeping the store’s shelves stocked is a priority for Yung, and his favorite saying is “This doesn’t sell in the warehouse!” Our founder, Dave Karp, was a mentor and friend to Yung, who remembers Dave teaching him all of his hardware knowledge, how to cut glass, and how to survive in the City after arriving from his native Vietnam. Yung considers Cole Hardware his family, and we consider him our favorite uncle!

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Welcome to 2018: There Are No Strangers Here!

2018-coleWe are happy to be celebrating another new year along with the one-year anniversaries of our SoMa (January 5) and North Beach (February 14) stores, and we’re especially pleased to be a part of these vibrant communities. Our goal for 2018 is to become more active in these neighborhoods and to get to know even more of our neighbors! Here’s a look back at how it all started for us and how Dave Karp’s guiding principle has become the cornerstone of our culture.
In 1961, my father, Dave Karp, purchased a hardware store (now our Cole Street warehouse) that had been located in Cole Valley since the 1920s. Dave was a one-man band: Every morning before opening the store, he would pick up merchandise at the supply houses, and in the evenings, after he closed the store, he would catch up on all of his paperwork. Dave ordered the merchandise, marked the merchandise, stocked the merchandise, helped the customers, rang up the sales, paid the bills, went to the bank, cleaned the bathroom—he did everything himself.
As his business began to grow, his wife, Margie, started coming down to help out. She would cashier, make keys, and direct customers to merchandise. In order to earn extra dollars, my mother would watch the store while my father expanded into “outside work.” During quiet periods and in the evenings, Dave would fix broken windows, repair toilets and faucets, install water heaters, fix doorbells and switches—he would do any jobs that were relatively quick and profitable and that would help him sell some of his merchandise.
Eventually, Dave could no longer keep up with the outside work. Business, both inside and outside of the store, had grown so much that he and Margie simply couldn’t handle it by themselves. He hired someone to help in the store, and he began contracting handymen for the outside work. Business was growing because Dave offered friendly and knowledgeable service, maintained an extensive inventory (he tried to have “one of everything made”), and had a strong desire to succeed. He would do anything that he could to help a customer!
The success of Dave’s business can be summed up in the following motto that he had posted on a large sign over the register:
There Are No Strangers Here, Just Friends We Haven’t Met!
Using this as the guiding principle of his business, Dave went on to build Cole Hardware into one of the busiest hardware stores in San Francisco. We honor Dave’s legacy now at our six locations and invite all our “friends” to stop in and say hi!

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Let’s Get Bubbly!

The holidays are a great time to raise a glass of sparkling beverage and make a toast to family and friends! At Cole Hardware, we offer several carbonation options to make this festive season a littlebit more bubbly.

Powered by a CO2 carbonator, Jet SodaStream allows you to turn tap water into sparkling water in an instant, giving you the Powered by a CO2 carbonator, Jet SodaStream allows you to turn tap water into sparkling water in an instant, giving you the taste. Try one of the sparkling drink mixes or create your own flavor by adding juices. Sparkling adult beverages are easy to make too. Choose from the Jet™jet (Sku 6260285, $79.99), Fizzi™ in black or white (Skus 6360325, 6360341, $79.99), and the Source™ in black or white (Skus 606001, 606665, $99.99).

Aarke Sparkling Water Maker
The Aarke is a sleek stain less steel soda maker. Its visual footprint on your counter is compact, and it is 100% compatible with your existing SodaStream 60-liter cartridge and bottles too. The lever carbonates and rele a se s pre ss u re ne a rly simultaneously, and it’s pretty darn quiet. Designed from the inside out, this Swedish marvel will
look great in your kitchen.
(Sku 606700, $199.99)

Drinkmate® Spritzer
This new handheld carbon-ation machine sparkles any beverage, anytime, anywhere you like. From the kitchen to the campground, the portable Spritzer is a blast to use! Easy to operate, easy to clean, and no electricity or batteries are required. Carbonate any cold drink: juices, ice tea or coffee, lemonade, energy drinks, wine, premixed craft cocktails, and even flat soda or beer. (Spritzer: Skus 606007–8, $64.99; Spare Fizz Infuser: Skus 606009–10, $24.99; 1-Liter Bottle: Sku 606011, $9.99; 0.5-Liter Bottle: Sku 606012, $8.99)

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Stay Dry with Our Dog and Cat Umbrellas!

Dog UmbrellaIntroducing our new line of dog and cat umbrellas featuring your favorite  pet! Stay dry while you walk your dog in style this rainy season with these high-quality umbrellas. These classic English stick-style umbrellas feature silhouettes of many popular breeds silkscreened across eight panels of fashionable colors. Made to old-world standards, the umbrellas auto-open to a generous 40-inch-wide canopy and are constructed with fiberglass ribs for strength and flexibility and steel shafts for durability. They come with a matching cover that sports a shoulder strap for easy travel. Choices include pugs and poodles, dachshunds, bulldogs, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and more. And there’s a cat silhouette for our feline-loving friends too! (Skus 885580–94, $24.99)

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familyFor the past seven Christmas seasons, our Rockridge store manager, Tessa, has participated in a holiday adopt-a-family program. She has adopted families both personally and for us at Cole Hardware. Whoever could, pitched in with presents and gift cards for these mothers and their children to make their Christmas special. Tessa will once again be adopting two families this holiday season. If you would like to donate a gift or gift card to one of these families, please contact Tessa to find out what the family has requested and the ages of the children. Email or ask for her when you’re shopping at our Rockridge location.

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Coins for the Community Tops $100,000!

coinsWow! Our Coins for the Community program began a little over six years ago, and we’re proud to announce that through the generosity of our shoppers (you!), we have topped the $100,000 milestone—$110,231.15 to be exact! During the first week of October, we collected $1,025.42 for our friends at Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS), a support and action group for young women in the Bay Area who are living with breast cancer. With BAYS’s blessing, we switched to collecting funds for the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, where 100% of donations go directly to fire victims. In the last three weeks of October, we were able to North Bay Fire Relief collect $13,021.72, and our collection for the fire victims continued through November. We’ll report our November total next month. For the month of December, we will collect funds for Women Organized to Make Abuse Nonexistent, Inc. (W.O.M.A.N., Inc.) to support the
many programs it offers. It’s easy to donate to Coins for the Community! Simply drop your spare change in any of our collection jars or choose the “donate” option when you’re checking out at any of our registers. Or bring in that old jar of pennies that’s collecting dust on your dresser!

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Happy Hour – December

Please join us as we celebrate the holidays with our friends and family and 20% storewide savings!* Finish shopping for those last-minute gifts on your list—or get started, if you’re more of a procrastinator. If you’re planning a low-key “staycation” this year, perhaps you can tackle a home-improvement project during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Stock up on everything you need at our last Happy Hour of the year, where we’ll also be serving our Cutting Edge wine, of course. Please stop by. We’ll save you a glass of wine!

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Freshly Cut Christmas Trees

Arriving Thanksgiving Weekgreentrees
Many of our longtime Cole Street shoppers fondly recall Dave Karp delivering their first Christmas tree when they moved to the Cole Valley neighborhood. Keeping with tradition, all of our stores will once again stock freshly cut Christmas trees in a variety of sizes. All COLE HARDWARE locations also have tree stands, lights, ornaments, and more—everything you need to create a festive holiday tree! We’re happy to bring the tree to your home in San Francisco and the Rockridge neighborhood for a $20 delivery fee. Just make arrangements for delivery at the time of purchase. While we will try our best to deliver your tree exactly when you request, please allow for a two-hour delivery window.

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Holiday Hounds: Pooch Pictures with Santa

Sunday, December 3 2:00 pm–6:00 pm 5533 College Avenue, Rockridge $10, with Proceeds Going to the Milo Foundation
Most folks would agree that their dogs are part of the family! Bring your canine kids to our Rockridge store on Sunday, December 3, to have their photo taken with Santa Claus. The proceeds will support all of the great work that the Milo Foundation does, and you’ll receive a 5″ x 7″ photo keepsake. The Milo Foundation is a nonprofit rescue and adoption center for domestic animals, and it’s where our Rockridge store manager, Tessa, found her newest canine companion. Please register for photos at so that we have an idea of how many dog treats to have on hand!

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