The family that works together stays together. That's the motto of the owners of a hardware store in storm-damaged Midland Beach, celebrating its 50th anniversary in a year that's been marked by recovery from Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
Walk into the Hylan Supply hardware store in Midland Beach, and it's a real family affair.
The business opened in 1963, the dream of Carlo's Italian immigrant parents and grandfather.
"I used to sleep on the shelves when I was little and I got too tired," said Carlo Saccheri of Hylan Supply.
Originally a general store, the shop sold toys and house wares, and made a name for itself by being open at all hours and seven days a week, which was unheard of at the time.
"I opened 7 o'clock in the morning 'til 9 o'clock in the night, and Sunday, 8 o'clock in the morning 'til 2 o'clock," said Piera Saccheri, the original owner of the business.
The store eventually transformed into a specialty hardware store, and Carlo grew up and took it over. Today, his own three kids, and their kids, are fixtures in the store, and he says they will hopefully run it when he decides to retire.
The shop offers a bit of everything, with an emphasis on plumbing. A showroom down the block offers cabinets and fixtures.
Everywhere you go, there's family.
"It's what you know, 'cause it's been so long," said Salvatore Saccheri, Carlo's son. "It's just something that it comes naturally."
After 50 years in business, the family says they've had their share of ups and downs, but nothing like what they say they've seen in the last year because of Hurricane Sandy.
Miraculously, their own store was spared the damage that so many of the neighboring businesses suffered, taking on just several feet of water in the basement.
So, Hylan Supply opened as usual the day after Hurricane Sandy hit, and people lined up to get whatever they could to begin cleaning up.
"People walking up to the beach like zombies," Carlo Saccheri said. "They didn't know what to do. It was total devastation. We did whatever we could. We opened up that day with no power. My guys, we were working with flashlights. Nobody had heat. Nobody had hot water. The boilers were all gone."
So, as the family looks toward its next 50 years in business, they say their focus remains on providing their community with the tools and help it will need to continue to rebuild.