Click here to text us!
Archive | Announcements RSS feed for this section

Coins for the Community Tops $60,000!

Coins for the Community Jar

Coins for the Community JarOur August collection of $725.17 benefitted our friends at ArtSeed, whose goal is to bring a lifelong love for creativity, knowledge, and generosity into the lives of young people. That puts our grand total since our spare change collection’s inception at $60,489.12! All thanks to the generosity of our loyal shoppers.

For September, our spare change collection was earmarked to assist Lyon-Martin Health Services, which provides excellent health care to women, lesbians, and transgender people. We’ll report on those numbers next month.

Our October collection will go to Dress for Success and Wardrobe for Opportunity, two organizations whose missions are to provide professional attire and support to disadvantaged women. In addition, we will have a clothing drive during our Ladies’ Night. Click here for further information.

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.

Comments ( 0 )

Rockridge Out & About

Rockridge Out & About

Sunday, October 9
12:00 pm–6:00 pm

Rockridge Out & About

Join Cole Hardware at the 10th annual Rockridge Out & About festival along vivacious College Avenue. Visit our Pumpkin Patch. Kids are welcome to get creative and adorn a pumpkin (while pumpkins last). Parents can purchase and enjoy a seasonal brew and keep our signature pint beer glass.

Comments ( 0 )

Good News for Our Mission Store Patrons: Cole Hardware Is Coming to SOMA!

Cole Hardware is coming to SOMA

We have scoured the Mission corridor for new locations in order to be as close to our Mission Street patrons as possible. The closest suitable space we could find will become home to our newest store at 9th and Folsom Streets in SOMA. We hope you will reconnect with us there if you haven’t already been patronizing our other City stores. The location on 9th Street is a short 10-minute car ride from the Mission District or a 20-minute ride on the 14, followed by a two-block walk. Please come and say hello when we open early next year! We miss you and need your continued support of our business.

The building that housed the Mission Street store, as you know, has been totally demolished. The property owner is unsure of his future plans at this point. If we have the opportunity to purchase the property at an affordable price, or if we are offered a reasonable lease in a new building there, we most certainly will open up once again in our previous space. In the meantime, we will continue to watch for space and hopefully will be part of the Mission community once again.

Important info for our Mission store patrons: If you have not yet shopped at one of our other stores since the fire, and you wish to continue to stay connected with us by receiving the Hardware Hotline in the mail, you must e-mail us at, letting us know your Rewards number or phone number and your name and address. If you prefer, you can also sign up to receive the Hardware Hotline and other digital communications via e-mail, if you aren’t signed up already. You can do this at In the meantime, we’ll keep you posted on any developments of interest as they unfold. I thank you for all of your heartfelt messages of support and friendship, as well as for 32 wonderful years. It has been a privilege to be part of your community. We miss you.

Comments ( 0 )

Mission Street Store Lost to Fire

Mission Street storefront after the fire

It was 1984. I had just opened the second Cole Hardware, our Mission Street store, and I was quickly learning that having two stores was much more complex than having just one. A mentor in the hardware industry had told me then, “Rick, if you can successfully run a second store, you can run 100.” I’ll never forget that. The lessons came daily, and I was truly learning retail all over again. It wasn’t easy, but we made it. The Mission Street store was embraced by the community, and we thrived as we embraced the Mission/Bernal community right back. We loved our new neighborhood just as much as our Haight-Ashbury home.
The most important lesson we learned was how external issues beyond our control could negatively influence our business and even threaten its existence. Our Mission Street store sat beneath four apartments in an old building, squeezed between two other old buildings. Over the years, that translated into floods and water damage from overflowing bathtubs or broken pipes, smoke and water damage from fires from candles or hot grease, and much more. We dealt with each challenge, learning the reality of running a hardware store in a tight, urban environment. Now, 32 years have gone by, and unfortunately, the worst has happened.Mission Street storefront after the fire
The call from Adrianna on June 18: “Dad, the store is on fire. Everybody is out, unharmed, and in the Safeway parking lot. It’s really bad.” I raced to the Mission Street store with my son, David, who sat next to me watching the fire unfold on his phone. We made our way to the parking lot to be with our crew members. We couldn’t get close to the store, but the scene around] us felt surreal. There was a sense of both sadness and support among the crowd as the community watched with us in awe. Soon, the fire investigators sought me out. They took me behind the line to quiz me on what combustibles were in the store.
firefighters spraying water Mission Street fireAnd there I was, standing behind the firefighters who were battling a raging fire and watching smoke spewing from the windows of my second store. It was an emotional moment. Through tears, I saw shelves of merchandise collapsing before my eyes, caught between the flames and the water cannons. Sunshine was streaming through as the second-floor apartments collapsed into the store. Writing this, two weeks later, brings back those same tears. This time, the store was lost.
The loss is devastating, both for our business and for the community. Yet, I am thankful. Unlike many others affected by the fire, our crew members were lucky to be able to go home that evening. They had acted heroically and executed our disaster plan flawlessly. And the very next day, all were warmly embraced by their new teammates in our other stores—everyone is still working.
To our many friends and patrons in the neighborhood: Please come and visit us at our other stores. You will be welcomed with open arms. We fervently hope you will remain a part of our Cole Hardware family, and I thank you for a wonderful 32 years.
We will be back!


Comments ( 0 )

Hardware Happy Hour

Happy Hour at Cole Hardware

Happy Hour at Cole Hardware
Hardware Happy Hour Coupon - $10 offWednesday, August 24

4:00 pm–8:00 pm
All Cole Hardware Locations

Enjoy our last Happy Hour of the summer with a glass of our Cutting Edge white wine or a wine spritzer made with some of the fruity, sparkling flavors of SodaStream® . Take advantage of our great Happy Hour deal, $10 off a $20 purchase, to stock up on some household essentials, buy a treat for yourself, or get a gift for someone else. We hope to see you!

Comments ( 0 )

Sidewalk Sale

sidewalk sale Saturday, August 27 10 am - 4pm

Cole Hardware Sidewalk Sale

Saturday, August 27
10am – 4pm

All Cole Hardware Locations

In the retail world, we work a few months ahead of the current season. To make room for our holiday trees and decor, we’re cleaning out the cupboards! Stop by any of our locations to pick up some exceptional deals—or even start your holiday shopping early.

sidewalk sale Saturday, August 27 10 am - 4pm


Comments ( 0 )

We Speak Hardware

Crew Member Oscar

We’re Hiring! Join Our Team and Come Speak Hardware with Us!

Crew Member Oscar

Friendly crew member Oscar welcomes you to our downtown Fourth Street location.

Day in and day out, we speak hardware. We mix paint, grind keys, and cut glass. We educate our customers and each other in solving the myriad plumbing, cleaning, electrical, carpentry, cooking, and gardening challenges our customers present us with each day. We enjoy speaking about all of this usual hardware store stuff, but one of the coolest things that sets our stores apart is our culture. Just listen to the some of the languages you can hear in our stores: Russian, Korean, German, Tagalog, Spanish, Mandarin, Hebrew, Afrikaans, and of course, English, too! Witness the diversity of ethnicities, montage of lifestyles, and variety of political perspectives (we might even have a few Republicans!). Our culture is a reflection of the world around us, and we are intensely proud of it. And we want you to join us.
Yes, even though we just suffered through a devastating fire, our optimism and growth plans are undeterred. We are hiring! Working at Cole Hardware is not just a job. It is the opportunity to contribute to and simultaneously be enveloped by our unique culture. If you need a job now or are just shopping for a new opportunity; if you are young or not so young (like me); if you want flexible hours, great benefits, and economic security; if you are looking for part-time or full-time employment, check us out. In fact, if you’re currently employed and wishing to join Cole Hardware, you’ll likely receive a higher wage than you are earning at your current job. If you are working retail at a corporate chain, you especially owe it to yourself to feel the difference. It’s all about our wonderful culture.
Of course, it’s easy for me to brag. I own the place. But don’t take my word for it. Turn to page 5 of the August 2016 Hardware Hotline to see the diversity of our staff and read what they have to say about working at Cole Hardware. Then, let us hear from you. Apply with us at I look forward to meeting you.

Comments ( 0 )

Cole Hardware Mission Street Fire Update

Firefighters at Cole Hardware Mission St Location

On Saturday, June 18, a raging fire gutted our Mission neighborhood store. This was the second of our five locations opened in 1984. We are grateful that no one was injured and we were able to relocate all of our staff members into our other stores. Unfortunately nearly 60 residents of the surrounding apartments were displaced by the fire. In order to help these neighbors, all of our stores are collecting funds through our Coins for the Community program. We’re working with the Mission Economic Development Agency to assure that 100% of money collected will go directly to the fire victims. Cash can be donated in our spare change jars located at each register or through a credit or debit card during checkout.

The outpouring of support that we have received from the community has been overwhelming and greatly appreciated. It is heartbreaking for all of us to not be in the neighborhood anymore! We do hope to open again as soon as possible. But I’m afraid that won’t be anytime soon.

In the meantime, if we can assist our Bernal/Mission patrons in anyway, please contact us. We are always available for free advice, and we deliver too! Feel free to say hello or ask of us anything you like. You can reach me at anytime.

Thank you for your years of patronage, and especially for your friendship.
RickFirefighters at Cole Hardware Mission St LocationCole Hardware Storefront post Mission St Fire

Comments ( 0 )

Happy 22nd Birthday to Our Community Partners Assistance Program

It all started with a phone call. Well, that’s not entirely true—it started with a few hundred phone calls. Schools and nonprofit groups contribute tremendously to the well-being of our communities, but in order to exist in many cases, and certainly to improve the quality of what they offer, money is sorely needed by these organizations. Thus, the phone calls. Every day, as far back as the 1980s, I received as many as 10 calls in a day from community groups requesting cash donations or donations of merchandise. The calls came from large organizations, tiny dance troupes, and everything in between. I wanted to help them all, but I couldn’t. And I felt guilty about it. I understood their needs, but they weren’t aware of COLE HARDWARE’s reality. In fact, due to the ultra-slim bottom lines of most small businesses, donation requests are still a dilemma for many. (By the way, the requests still come in droves, but mostly by e-mail now. )Guilt has a way of fostering creativity. How could I turn a “yes” to every request into a positive for COLE HARDWARE? The light bulb went off: cause marketing was born here. When the calls came, I started saying yes—but with a catch. The recipient organization had to join our Community Partners program. In addition to providing donations, I created a pretty good list of benefits that made joining compelling, including publishing the names of all of our partners in our Hardware Hotline newsletter, thus making it truly a win-win partnership.

The organizations received donations, discounts, freebies, and more. We asked them to share the news of our partnership within their community. And we sweetened the deal by donating 10% of all purchases made by that community back to the school or nonprofit group. Everybody was happy, and my guilt turned into pride by the success of our Community Partners program. It made giving both heartwarming and fun.

Fast-forward to today. Our partnerships are still going strong. We have hundreds of schools and community groups partnering with us—814, in fact!
We still donate to fund-raisers, give discounts for special programs, and donate a percentage of sales back to our partners. We now also give away cases of our own Cutting Edge wines and Clearly COLE HARDWARE bottled water to sell or serve at fund-raising events. We spotlight individual groups in the Hardware Hotline, raise hundreds of dollars for selected groups with our Coins for the Community collections each month, and much, much more. And we’re still having fun doing it!
Our Community Partners program is core to our culture. It fills us with pride, and it makes giving as rewarding for us as receiving is for our recipients! If your school, church, or favorite nonprofit group is not yet partnering with us, please go to www.cole and join now.

Comments ( 0 )

Amazon: Before You Click, Think About the Impact

As I write this in mid-December, San Francisco is enduring Amazon’s latest experiment. There are billboards surrounding the City advertising one-hour delivery. Gone are the many big green trucks of last year’s attempt to deliver fresh groceries. Now we see many little white vans with the Amazon “frown” on the side. They are busy trying to live up to Amazon’s latest delivery promise. And I have to admit, they seem to be doing a pretty good job. But before you click, think about the impact on local businesses and our local economy. Your choice matters. Thanks to the research done by our friends at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance ( I can present the following information to you:

Jobs. Amazon creates less than half as many jobs as local businesses do. For every $10 million in sales, Amazon employs just 19 people. In contrast, independent retailers create 47 jobs for that same $10 million.

Taxes. Yes, Amazon is finally collecting sales tax in California. But in addition to sales taxes, local businesses pay property taxes and other local fees for storefront locations, which is money that recirculates in our local economy and contributes to our collective well-being.

Local Economy. Remember, every dime you spend with Amazon benefits their shareholders and Seattle where they are headquartered. That’s cool perhaps if you have relatives or friends who live there. Otherwise, remember that local businesses feed and support your local community. We hire locally and have local supply chains where we purchase goods and services. Frankly, about half of every dollar we reap in sales is plowed back into the local
community one way or another.

Community. Amazon contributes nothing to our local nonprofit organizations and schools. Studies show that locally owned businesses give almost twice as much to the local community as big businesses in general. I know the depth of COLE HARDWARE’s support and involvement in our local communities. And I know of many other local businesses that are equally involved. Your local retailers know you are going to shop Amazon. But think about the impact before youclick. If San Francisco consumer spending shifted just 10%, San Francisco retailers would create nearly 1,300 jobs and pump more than $190 million into our community, and imagine those numbers applied to Oakland and the greater Bay Area. (Don’t take my word for it. Check out the study at So, what’s the message? If you click 10% less and move those purchases to your favorite locally owned stores, our community will benefit immensely: you’ll help create jobs and keep our neighborhoods vibrant. Resist the urge to shop Amazon. Think about it before you click. – Rick

Comments ( 0 )