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Blue Ribbon Brands

blue ribbonAt Cole Hardware, we believe in giving you a bang for your buck and, at the same time, providing a quality shopping experience and quality products as well. Buying high-quality goods is often less expensive in the long run, as a well-built product will last much longer, perform better, and can become an heirloom, handed down to the next generation. Look for these blue ribbon brands at our stores!

riedel logoRiedel Wine Glasses

Producers of fine Austrian crystal in the heart of Europe for over 250 years and through 11 generations, Riedel has perfected the design of crystal glassware to enhance the aroma and taste of wine.

miele logoMiele Vacuums

Known for their superb quality and craftsmanship, Miele vaccuums are built to last 20 years.

staub logoStaub® Enameled Cast Iron

Staub cookware comes from the Alsace region of France, an area rich in history, food, and craft and renowned for hearty one-pot recipes and fine enameled ceramics.

finex logoFinex® Cast-Iron Cookware

Visually stunning, yet rugged, Finex cookware sears foods beautifully and cooks evenly with no sticking.

aura waterborne exterior paintBenjamin Moore® Aura® Waterborne Paint

Quite simply one of the finest paints on the market, Aura, with breakthrough ColorLock® technology, creates a luxurious finish and a richer, truer color desired by discerning homeowners.

wellnessmats logoWellnessMats®

These revolutionary anti-fatigue mats are ergonomically engineered and medically proven to provide maximum comfort, safety, and well-being while you stand.

fermob logoFermob Outdoor Furniture

With its charm and wide array of hues—plum, poppy red, aubergine, verbena, honey, carrot, nutmeg, lagoon blue, and more, this bistro furniture made in France of lacquered stainless steel features an anti-UV powder coating, making it ideal for outdoor use. Add a splash of color to a kitchen or patio.

vitamix logoVitamix®

Much more than just a blender, a Vitamix allows you to whip up smoothies, frozen desserts, hot soups, ice cream, and juices, all with one machine. Grind your coffee beans or make fresh peanut butter with just-roasted peanuts.

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Finex Cast-Iron Cookware Comes to Cole Hardware!

Finex Cast Iron Pan

Finex logoHave you heard of Finex cast iron yet? Finex is a relatively new name in the gourmet cookware market, so there’s a good chance you haven’t. Luckily, Finex pans have just hit the shelves at all Cole Hardware locations, so you have the opportunity to be a trendsetter by getting this fantastic product into your kitchen before it becomes widely known as the standard-setting brand in cast-iron cookware. If this is your first introduction to the line, your reaction as you read on may be a bit of sticker shock: why should I pay so much for a pan? So, as an owner of a Finex pan, let me tell you why!

Finex Cast Iron PanFinex cooks like an absolute dream—it is truly a cooking experience like no other. The pan sears beautifully, cooks food incredibly evenly, and food slides right out of the pan when done—no sticking. All with zero effort.

Finex pans are also visually stunning—right away, you’ll notice the ergonomic spring handle, which is beautiful and, more important, keeps cool and allows you to more easily grip the handle while cooking at blazing-hot temperatures. The unique octagonal shape makes for easy pouring from any of the corners.

Finex pans are made by a small team of cast-iron specialists in Portland, Oregon, and intended to be “heirloom” pieces. They can be lovingly handed down in your family for generations to come—they only get better with age. As Finex puts it: “Good Forever.” Finex will replace any of its products that ever fail under normal use.

Despite their beauty, these pans are rugged! My friends who live in Finex’s backyard in Portland take their Finex pans with them on car-camping trips, so they can enjoy meals perfectly cooked over a fire in the open air. Pick one up in time for summer camping trips or just to have for everyday admiration and use at home. I promise you won’t regret it! (Skus 602051–6, $114.99–$239.99)

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Sewing Circle: How to Hand Mend

Sewing Circle: How to Hand Mend

Tuesday, July 12, 5:00 pm–7:00 pmSewing Circle: How to Hand Mend
956 Cole Street

It’s unfortunate that we live in such a disposable world these days. Oftentimes, it seems more convenient to toss something and replace it with a brand new item instead of trying to make repairs. We all probably have a piece of clothing that needs a stitch (or nine), but many of us seem to never get around to doing that mending. With home economics (wood shop and auto shop classes, too) no longer offered at many schools, some younger folks may have never even threaded a needle. We’re here to help!

Join us at our Cole Street store for a sewing circle on Tuesday, July 12, and learn how to hand stitch minor tears in clothing or sew a patch on jeans or a jacket. Just bring your clean clothing, and our friend Alicia Pucci from Sew-it-All will lead us in the repairs. A former home economics instructor, Alicia now teaches private sewing lessons, sewing classes, and specialty workshops in her charming Marina studio

Hand mending is a valuable skill for anyone. Who wants to go on a date or a job interview with a missing button that could have been fixed in a matter of minutes? Everyone is welcome to stop by and repair a few pieces of apparel, pillows, curtains, or other household items in need of mending. We’ll be serving tea and cookies.

The class is free, but please register by e-mailing or phone 415/674-8913 ext. 4. (Children 12 years of age and up welcome. Clean clothing only. Needles and thread will be provided.)

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Tips for Home Safety and Accessibility

Safer Moss and Algae Killer and Surface Cleaner

Hazards in the home are responsible for about a third of the injuries suffered by older adults, and people with impairments may face difficulties—and barriers to independent living—in their own environments. It therefore makes sense to observe household habits, identify problem areas, and make changes that will help create safer, more accessible living situations. Since June is Home Safety Month, we’ve compiled a list of easy fixes to common problems. The products shown are samples of the many from which to choose at Cole Hardware.


  • Improve lighting, if necessary, both indoors and out, to add safety as well as security. FrogLeggs Night Vision LightTake special note of stairways, and don’t forget closets.
  • Night lights or motion-sensor lights should be put in hallways and bathrooms used at night. Entryways and stairwells should be well lighted, too. One of our favorite motion sensor lights is the Light It™ wireless LED porch light, which can stand on a surface or be mounted on a wall. (Sku 3266087, $31.99)
  • Key ring flashlights allow maneuvering through dark parking areas—or even to the bathroom. The FrogLeggs™ Night Vision light is small enough to attach to a key ring and features a long-life LED bulb. (Sku 9309501, $3.49)
  • Stair safety treads provide stability, and a contrasting color tread at the edge of a step gives a visual cue. Cole Hardware has assorted widths, colors, and textures available.
  • Handrails should be positioned about adult elbow height on both sides of staircases. Knobs at both ends will alert the user that the stairs end.Monaco Lok-Lift Rug Gripper
  • Grab bars should be situated vertically at tops of stairs, and bars or handrails should be placed in bathrooms where needed (towel racks should never be used for support).
  • A shower seat and a handheld showerhead will help avoid fatigue and eliminate bending. The Safety First™ nonslip seat has rustproof legs and fits in standard tubs and showers. (Sku 4017000, $44.99) The Oxygenics® handheld power massage showerhead has five settings, a 5-foot hose, and a stationary mounting bracket. Easy installation. (Sku 4495750, $39.99)
  • Nonslip coatings or safety mats or strips will guard against slips in tubs and showers. Bath mats should have nonskid backings.
  • Limit the use of extension cords and fasten them to baseboards. 3M Cord Clips hold firmly and remove cleanly with no surface damage. Each clip holds 1 pound. Package of four clips and five adhesive strips. (Sku 5095856, $4.99)
  • Throw rugs should be removed or secured to the floor with double-sided rug tape such as Manco® Lok-Lift Rug Gripper 2.5″ x 25′. (Sku 6016158, $11.99)
  • Lever door handles and rocker light switches are great for those with poor hand strength.Safer Moss and Algae Killer and Surface Cleaner
  • Relocate items in cupboards and cabinets so that they are low enough to be easily reached.
  • Lower closet shelves if necessary.
  • A long-handled pick-up tool can be used to reach objects that are on high shelves or on the floor. The Pik Stik pick-up tool has a 32″ handle and a 4″ jaw opening. It will hold a 3-pound object. (Sku 2114957, $29.99)
  • If a step stool is necessary, a sturdy one with side handles should be used.
  • Clear moss and mildew from shady stairs and sidewalks so that areas are not slippery. Water-based Safer® Moss and Algae Killer and Surface Cleaner will do the job—plus it’s noncorrosive to metals and will actually beautify wood. (Sku 7115991, $19.99)
  • Hose reels loop hoses out of the way.
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Mason Jar Candles

Mason Jar Candles

Mason Jar Candles - logoMason Jar CandlesA San Francisco–based company, Mason Jar Candles, Inc., has taken America’s most iconic jar and paired it with one of America’s top crops: the soybean. These soy candles will provide warmth to any room in the home or add a glowing ambience to any outdoor space. Candles are proudly made from 100% pure soy wax originating from farm-grown, organic soybeans. Each hand-poured candle contains a delectable scent, evenly distributed for a long-lasting, aroma-packed burn.

The classic 16-ounce mason jars are custom crafted and can be glammed and glittered up for any occasion, including weddings, parties, or romantic dinners. In addition to the joy you’ll get if you give these as gifts, you’ll also be helping those in need. For every candle purchased, a minimum of 10% of profits are donated to aid charities that support mental illness, education, hunger, and homelessness. Mason Jar Candles, Inc., is working to become a full-fledge not-for-profit company, out to support those in need. Choose from coconut mango, fields of lavender, French flower garden, jasmine, and red currant. 80–120 hour burn time. (Skus 622008, 35, 37–39, $14.99)

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Oakland Dust Spice Rubs

oakland-dust-logoThe story of Oakland Dust goes back to when I was a child sitting shotgun outside Flint’s BBQ in my pop’s idling ’75 Cutlass. Those summer days: the captivating Bill King on the radio, the scent of mesquite-fueled smoke billowing from above. Pop would roll to Flint’s on Shattuck just about every Sunday, pick up a full slab, hot links, and extra Wonder Bread to soak up all that goodness. By the time we made it home, half the links would be gone, and my lips would be on fire. This is where my love affair with pork, and all foods, began. I created Oakland Dust for my love of food and for the city I proudly call home.

Handcrafted, locally inspired spice rubs for all your favorite foods, our unique blends add flavor to all your creations. Try dusting on popcorn, roasted veggies, and salads. You’re the boss in the kitchen—we’re just here to add a little spice.
—Lloyd Ross, Founder of Oakland Dust

Our Rockridge store carries Oakland Dust in a pork rub, chicken rub, and curry rub. (Skus 869005, 097–8, $7.99)


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Max Riedel Stops By

max-riedelMax Riedel, the 11th generation to run the Riedel wine glass company based in Kufstein, Austria, paid a visit to our downtown Fourth Street store in April. The company, founded in Bohemia in 1756, makes wine glasses tailored to specific grape varietals in order to enhance the taste of each wine. All Cole Hardware locations carry an assortment of Riedel glassware.


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Nest Comes to Cole Hardware!


Homes just keep getting smarter. Our stores now carry the popular Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Cam security camera. Control all of your Nest products from a single app in any browser and on both Android and iOS devices.

Imagine the number of wild teenage parties that could have been thwarted had the Nest Cam been around when we were kids! With live video streaming to a phone or computer, Nest Cam provides peace of mind and the ability to stay connected to the things you care about. The Nest Cam features high video quality and a design to make it very easy to keep an eye on your home.

Nest Cam can use your phone’s location—and even your family’s phones— to know when you’re away. So when everyone leaves the house, Nest Cam will know to turn on automatically. And with 24/7 live streaming, advanced night vision, and motion and sound alerts, Nest Cam helps you look after your home from anywhere.

The camera’s magnetic base can stick to metal, be mounted to the wall, or screwed onto a universal tripod. It can twist around, bend at an angle, or be mounted upside down. The body is designed to allow you to capture the view you want. (Sku 5700380, $199.99)

The Nest Learning Thermostat adapts to your lifestyle and the changing seasons. Just use it for a week, and it programs it self. Adjust the temperature from your phone, so you come home to a cozy abode on a chilly San Francisco summer night. Nest shows you how much energy you use and when you use the most. You’ll get an alert on your phone if there’s something wrong—like temperatures are so low that your pipes could burst or it looks like your furnace is acting up. (Sku 4666780, $249.99)

Stop by any Cole Hardware location to learn more about the Nest thermostat and camera.

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Earthquake Prep

The Loma Prieta earthquake and aftermath of October 17, 1989, demonstrated the importance of civilian volunteers during a disaster. At the Marina fire, volunteers assisted the San Francisco Fire Department in those labor-intensive operations such as leading hose lines by hand over great distances to supply water from the Bay to the fire site. In a larger-scale disaster, the use of volunteers may be even more widespread and more necessary.
Our Fourth Street store crew member Frank is probably more prepared for a disaster than most. He is a Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) member, an Auxiliary Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) member, and a California Highway Patrol volunteer. In addition, he is a licensed ham radio operator and will soon be certified in the National Child Passenger Safety Certification training program, which means he will be able to install child safety seats and conduct child safety seat checks.
We asked Frank to put together a list of items that everyone should have in their home when the “big one” hits. Shown here are Frank’s recommendations for some of the important items to have on hand. This is a partial list, but you can stop by any of our locations and ask for the full list.
NERT and ALERT are programs offered by the San Francisco Fire Department and Police Department, respectively. East Bay residents can also become certified in the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, a division of FEMA. For more information on any of these programs and how you can become certified, visit these websites:
And feel free to stop by our downtown Fourth Street location for free advice from Frank!


Here is the complete list of recommendations from San Francisco Fire Department Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT)

• First aid kit – a decent, well-stocked kit, including a couple of weeks’ supply of any prescription medications you need. Also include pharmaceutical-grade crazy (skin) glue.
• Cash – plenty of it because depending on the event, credit cards may not be useful. Consider having about $100–$200 in ones; that way you never need change. A couple rolls of quarters could come in handy. Do not “flash” it around.
• 1 set of clothing – think layers, include 3 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks, and a comfortable, sturdy pair of shoes.
• A blanket – to keep you warm. Consider a Mylar emergency blanket, which is lightweight and packs up small.
• Crank-style flashlight and snap lights such as glow sticks.
• Whistle – good for locating people in a crowd, at night, or in low-visibility conditions.
• Crank-style/battery-operated NOAA weather/AM-FM radio.
• Nonperishable food – energy bars are good and take up little space.
• Water.
• Goggles – protect your eyes! • Hand and feet warmers – get the carbon-activated kind; they work great.
• Rope – has endless uses; choose various sizes (rubber bands, too).
• Big black trash bags – use as a poncho or cut open to make a tent.
• Multi-use knife.
• Dust masks (2 per person) – best if heavy-duty respirator-type masks.
• Duct tape.
• Plastic sheeting.
• Copies of passport, driver’s license, insurance, and any other important documents.
• A map of the area you plan to go. • Toiletries. • Maxi pads – can also be used as a bandage if needed.
• Sticky pad and a pen and pencil in case you need to leave a note for family to let them know where you went or where to meet. Also, keep at least one wallet-size photo of your immediate family, children, and pets. This is crucial in case you get separated and need to enlist the help of others to find your loved ones.
• Gel antibacterial handwash (nonrinse) – available at any pharmacy and most supermarkets and convenience stores, for cleaning hands and even wounds in a pinch. You never know what you may have to touch in an emergency.
• A pair of leather work gloves again – think rescue and retrieval.
• Pet-care products.
San Francisco Fire Department Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) 415-970-2022 – email: – website:

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Our Online Urban Gift Registry

COLE HARDWARE is pleased to announce our new online Urban Gift Registry service. Traditionally, gift registries have been the domain of department and hopresentme stores; however, we get many requests for a more practical registry of tools, hardware, and garden supplies. Because many couples get married now at an older age than in generations past, they often are merging established households and may not need many housewares. And with a fixer-upper in San Francisco costing a pretty penny, many couples starting out just don’t have a big budget for remodeling after a hefty down payment. They may choose the do-it-yourself route to make their house a home, thus needing a sturdy drill or a gallon of premium Benjamin Moore® Aura® paint more than a formal set of china. Registries are also no longer just for weddings. They are now common for housewarmings, birthdays, and first apartments or even for recent high school graduates heading off to college. With the mild weather and casual lifestyle we enjoy in the Bay Area, it’s not unusual for couples to register for a deluxe Weber® grill or Big Green Egg® to entertain their guests year-round or for garden tools for their outdoor areas that need some help. A registry assists friends and family in choosing a thoughtful gift desired by the recipients and allows friends and family far and near to send a gift to a newlywed or new home owner and feel they are part of the celebration. Community Partners are also welcome to set up a registry for items that they are in need of for their operations.
To set up a registry online, just click on the registry link on our home page. You can also visit our store and handpick the items you would like in your registry. One of our registry attendants will scan the items you choose, and we will set up your registry so that your loved ones can order your gift online, order by phone, or purchase it in the store. We’ll keep track of what is purchased, too, so overlapping gifts are not a problem, and we will even deliver your gifts in the City for free. Our Urban Gift Registry is available for our tool, garden, and home departments—basically our entire store—whatever your occasion. To set up an appointment at one our stores or for any questions, simply e-mail service@ or call 415/674-8913 ext. 4.
— Rick Karp, President, aka Keeper of the Karma

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