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Business Beat

June 14, 2014

Building supply shop to mark golden anniversary

Munson’s Building Supplies will be celebrating 50 years in business with a host of activities during an open house Friday, June 20.

The anniversary is a terrifically exciting occasion, co-owner Steve Munson said Friday.

While the past will be recognized, the business of the present will continue during next week’s event.

The family-owned hardware and building supplies company, at 5662 State Highway 7 in the town of Oneonta, will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday. Breakfast is planned until 10 a.m., lunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Party of Two will perform music from 2 to 5 p.m.

Manufacturers’ representatives will be available to answer questions about products and equipment demonstrations are planned.

Munson’s Building Supplies opened May 5, 1964.

The store’s 1,600 accounts represent contractors, carpenters and home improvement businesses throughout the region, Munson said. The store sells a variety of building supplies, from boards and nails to windows and doors. Munson’s has about 19,000 square-feet dedicated to retail sales and showroom space, plus another 2,800 square-feet designated for rental equipment, which ranges from a small drill to excavators, he said.

Munson’s began as a roller-skating rink when Munson’s parents, Fred and Audrey Munson, opened it in 1955 as a part-time business, according to a history of the business. In 1963, a local businessman convinced them they should turn the rink into a lumber yard. In 1975, Munson’s joined the True Value buying group and added hardware to the lumber business.

The original 6,000 square-foot building and outer buildings were destroyed in an electrical fire in 1979, Steve Munson said.

“There was an outpouring of support from the community and loyal customers that will never be forgotten,” the history said. “That support was instrumental in the rebirth of Munson’s.”

Fred and Audrey Munson sold the business to their children, making Steve Munson, Mike Munson and their brother-in-law, Bob Goble, co-owners. Fred Munson, at 92 years old, still goes to work daily. Audrey, who as a bookkeeper was a driving force toward the business’s success, retired in 1988, the history said.

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