Chet’s Hardware on Catalina Island is a neighborhood staple for the residents and the mariners passing through.
CATALINA ISLAND— Originally opening its doors in 1962, Chet’s Harware founds itself in the hands of Edward and Patricia Cassidy, and the store quickly became an institution for the island. Fifteen years after opening the store, their son Mike Cassidy purchased it from them and has been running it with his wife since then. As one of Catalina’s oldest businesses and because of its unique location on an island, Chet’s Hardware expands beyond the standard stock of what the aisles of a hardware store have to offer and has become a useful shop for mariners and DIY-ers as well.
“The original hardware store was owned by a man named Chet,” said owner Cinde Cassidy. “The family that purchased the store from Chet held the name during their tenure, and then when the Cassidys purchased the business back in the 70s, the store name was so popular they decided not to change the name. I love it when people say, “I spoke to your husband, Chet.” It’s funny and makes for a good smile.”
In June of 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chet’s Hardware migrated from its original location to find a new home in what most recently was the Vons Express grocery store on Catalina Avenue. Prior to the Vons, the location was the Atwater Arcade. The move was finished in June after starting demolition on the location in January 2020.
“We absolutely love our new location, and it feels like moving “home,” if you will. We were able to create a Covid pod with our staff, and during the closures of the pandemic, we bonded together as a team to build the new location and move during an emotionally uncertain time. The move was much more positive [for] us as we bonded as a team in ways we otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to.”
The new location offers more shelf space for products that cater to the year-round traffic of boaters passing by, as well as the tools for home improvement for the residents on the island.
The little hardware store has a 16′ space dedicated to marine supplies for the very present boating community that sees and lives on the island. Chet’s carries some basic items regularly but can also order items for those staying for a visit. In addition, the larger space allowed the store to introduce a 200-square-foot nursery filled with ever-changing flowers, fruits, and vegetables. In collaboration with the Catalina Island Conservancy, the nursey also offers plats that are native to the island. Chet’s also offers a locksmith service and will make special orders upon request and appliance replacement.
Chet’s Hardware is the handyman’s toy store and offers a collection of products for any project. For more information on the store or to get in contact, please visit https://www.chetshardware.com/.