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Five Minutes with Terry at Prahran Market Hardware

We caught up with resident handyman, Terry, to find out a little more about the day-to-day happenings at his Prahran Market Hardware store in Harvest Hall.

What do you enjoy most about owning Prahran Market Hardware?

I love being engaged in the community. Being the hardware store for the local precinct, so many people say “Thank god you’re here, I don’t want to travel to a hardware barn. Can you help me with….”. Hearing different problems and working through solutions is always interesting and when customers come back and say thanks it is really rewarding. I enjoy what everyone should take home from their work, being appreciated.

What is something people may not know about Prahran Market Hardware?

First-time visitors to Prahran Market often do not realise there is a hardware shop here, but they are pleased when they discover the store. Many new customers also do not know we offer a same-day knife sharpening service.

What is the most common question you get asked?

When customers make their selection, they often ask “Is this the correct choice?” or “Will this do the trick?”. This always raises a little red flag with me and, at this point, I need to buy into their project. For example, if they are hanging picture frames, I ask about the wall they are fixing to, the structure of the wall, whether it’s a rental (removable hooks needed), and how heavy their frames are. Once I have heard the full scope of the project, I can offer the right advice.

How do you think a local hardware store benefits the community?

Locals come to the Prahran Market for the best produce and variety of services. In their shopping jaunt, they also want to get knives sharpened, purchase a tube of glue, light bulbs, picture hooks, garden fertilisers, batteries or shopping trolleys. Many people are opting out of car ownership, so a local hardware store is an essential service to many. New locals love discovering the familiarity and vibrancy of Prahran Market shopping.

Have you always offered knife sharpening? If not, when did you introduce it? What is the most common knife you see coming in to get sharpened?

Knife sharpening is a service I have always provided but since offering a same-day service, the activity intrigues those passing by. Shoppers often stop and watch me sharpen, promising to bring their knives on their next visit – which they do.  Regular customers (chefs) bring their utility, boning or paring knives although I also sharpen many bread knives, cleavers and secateurs. Every sharpening job presents a different challenge and I have only one piece of advice to customers, do NOT put your good knives in the dishwasher. The detergent creates pits in high carbon stainless steel (i.e Global Knives) and pits in knives become holes or chips on the knife’s edge when sharpening.

What do you love most about being at Prahran Market?

The Prahran Market is a vibrant shopping hub. For our customers, it personalises the shopping experience and I love being part of that. In my hardware store, the DIY hopefuls enjoy unloading their home renovation frustrations on me. I enjoy giving advice and helping them see the lighter side of their trials and tribulations. For some locals, the Market is their daily social engagement and I really feel for them in this lock-down period. Last night I received a call from Jean, a 94-year-old local who I share friendly daily banter with. She misses her visits to the Market and asked me to pass greetings on to all the traders. That’s what I love about the Prahran Market.

Did you know Terry has a range of products available for you to buy online? Check it out, here.

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