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Family celebrates 100 years of business on Main Street

May 2nd, 2012 Posted in Business

By Steve Kent

LOGAN -– Much can change in a century, but one Logan business has been family-run for 100 years. Charles Jenkins opened the store as Logan Hardware in 1912 at 45 N. Main in Logan. Today, his grandchildren Greg Jenkins and Martha Rose own Bennett’s Paint, while their brother owns and operates Bennett’s Glass under the same roof.

Greg’s son, Ben, works as a manager at the store and says a lot has changed over the years.

“We’re a lot more specialized now,” Ben said. “We used to sell everything, basically. We used to sell Chuck Taylor shoes. We sold athletic equipment to USU.”

Though the Jenkins family has focused on selling paint and glass for decades now, when the business moved from its original location in 1995, the family found old shoes, fishing lures and javelins in the basement, Ben said.

The days of hardware stores selling athletic equipment have passed, Ben said. More businesses in town means more specialization. “Back then, we were one of the few stores around. We could sell a lot of everything. Now, we can concentrate on doing really good at one thing.”

Though the Jenkins family has always run the business, John Bennett of Salt Lake City–the grandfather of former U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett–bought the store in 1926. When the Jenkins family bought the store from Bennett a few years later, the name was changed to Bennett’s Paint. Even after the Bennett Corporation’s paint production plants in Salt Lake City went out of business, the Jenkins family kept the Bennett name.

Rose, the store’s co-owner, said the family has been advertising more to help soften the impact of 2008’s economic downturn. A large percentage of the store’s revenue comes from professionals in the hard-hit construction industry, Rose said.

“In a down economy, you have to put yourself out there a little bit more,” Rose said.

“Competition is a little greater when there’s less business, you have to work a little harder to get people to come in,” she said. “So we’ve been trying to do extra promotions and sales. Along with our 100 year anniversary, we’ve got big promotions every month this year. So that kind of came at a good time,” she added.

Bennett’s Paint is more fortunate than some construction-related businesses, she said. Though fewer contractors buy paint for new buildings since the downturn, the store also supplies paint for renovations.

“A lot of our business is from remodels or from people finishing their basements,” Rose said. “It seems like more people are staying where they are and remodeling where they are instead of building new homes.”

NW

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