It all began back in 1976. Our country was going through a terrible recession. Our local economy was devastated. At the time, our founder Vincent Costello was forced to close his air conditioning and heating contracting business. Looking for a means to support his wife and 10 children, Vinnie stumbled upon a business opportunity, a retail hardware store. Originally opened in 1973, it was a small, neglected, under stocked store, just over 2,000 square feet located in Deer Park.
With no previous retail experience and no other options, Vinnie courageously embarked on a journey that few would ever have dared. Sales were dismal and the store was in desperate need of attention. He worked every day for five years and managed to make the store profitable. While most would have been satisfied with this amazing feat, Vinnie was determined to grow beyond that one small store.
By refinancing his home, he opened a second location in 1982. This 5,000 square foot industrial store was also located in Deer Park, on the other side of town.
In 1988, another opportunity arose. A shopping center was being constructed in the little-known town of Nesconset. It wasn’t the most populated area, but Vinnie had lived there for over 10 years and he thought that the residents of Nesconset would respond well to a neighborhood hardware store. Did they ever! The 4,000 square foot store was an instant success, profitable from day-one. Over the next four years, the success of that store helped fuel the expansion of the company to larger stores in Farmingdale and Central Islip.
During those early growing years, his children worked in the business and contributed to its success.
“Our dad taught us the importance of taking care of our customers. ‘Treat them like family’, he would say. He taught us how to solve their problems and how to learn from them. Most importantly, he taught us that the most sacred bond between us and our customers is trust.” Says Michael Costello, CEO Costello’s Ace Hardware
In 2001, with Vinnie’s encouragement and guidance, six of his children opened a 25,000 square foot store in Bellmore, NY. This store was the size of all of the other locations combined, it was huge. “I remember thinking that we would never be able to find enough products to fill it”. It took some time, but eventually we had a successful home center. The Costello’s team replicated the success of this hardware/home center concept and today they now have locations in 5 states including, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Costello’s has successfully distinguished itself as the local, helpful hardware store, staffing each location with associates eager to assist and relate on a personal level with their neighbors.
For a full list of all Costello’s Ace Hardware locations, click here.