About Us

On Monday 27th March 1995, 62 years after the doors of Cobden’s Hardware store first opened, a huge change occurred and new owners took the reins. Almost 25 years later, the Martin Family made another huge change to Hardware in both Cobden and Timboon – a colour change, a name change, a rebranding and most importantly a stance to retain independence and service for our local communities.  We sat down with the Manager, Heather Martin and asked her a few questions...

How long has your business been operating?
Frank & Jocelyn Martin purchased the business from the Parlour family in March 1995. It was originally started by E & RA Parlour in 1933.

What was the reason for opening?
Originally it was 3 separate shops – One stocking farm machinery, the second was a seamstress and the third became a hardware store as the town needed all three. Eventually they all combined into one – the Hardware store we know today
 
What is the reason for the change?
The Hardware industry has had some huge changes in the past few years and we have chosen to remain independent so we can stock what our local community want to buy. We love the H Hardware philosophy of “Locally owned, Leading Brands, Personal Service” as it is exactly what we’re all about – supporting our local community as best we can. We’re also loving the bright, cheery yellow exterior.
 
How many people work within your business?
Currently there are approx. 20 local people employed in various capacities, from casual to part time to full time
 
What types of positions do they hold?
Each person brings their own experiences and expertise to create a well-rounded wealth of knowledge throughout the business - from carpentry, building, boiler making and cabinet making through to farming, cooking and crafts… with a number of our team members having chosen to remain in hardware for more than 20 years each!
 
What are the main products and services you offer?
A wide and diverse range of building products you would expect including timber, plumbing and roofing needs, nails, screws and a full range of zinc and galvanised bolts. We are very proud of our well stocked Haymes Trade & Retail Paint section, our revamped Garden department and newly updated Giftware and Homewares area. The new addition to the business creating the most amount of excitement and buzz in the district is our balloons & helium! Perfect for birthdays, baby showers, anniversaries and celebrations of any size and style – or just a single balloon for someone special. We sell disposable helium cylinders, or we can blow your balloons up for you!
A service much in need over the past 12 months in particular has been our ability to source quality sheds at a competitive price, at any size you want, delivered to site.
An exciting addition to our range of specialties is our ability to do water testing for your pools, spas and water tanks, and accurately provide you with corrective products and dosages.
 
What makes your business special?
Our happy, experienced staff who are only too willing to help solve your problem and go out of their way to find a special-order product if at all possible. If we don’t stock it, just ask and we will do our best! We have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips.
 
 
What are the current trends in your line of business?
With the invention of You Tube and Pinterest, we have found many craft-loving people are finding new and exciting uses for hardware items – they never realised we are their local craft store as well! The internet, social media and our Facebook page have opened up endless possibilities never available to us in the past.
 
Why is it important for people to seek professional advice?
We do regular training to keep up to date with our product knowledge together with the health and safety aspects of the products we sell to ensure we give the best advice we possibly can. If you purchase a product and accidentally use it incorrectly, as good as they product may be, it could mean it fails and ends up being a complete waste of your money – not good for you or us!
 
What do you enjoy about working in our community and why are you proud to be a part of it?
Cobden and Timboon are both amazingly resourceful, close-knit, hardworking and forward-thinking communities. We love the daily interactions we have with local tradespeople, the farming community and every other person who walks through our door!
 
How is/are your business/employees involved in the community?
We sponsor a weekly BBQ at the front of our Cobden store, providing the sausages and BBQ gas (the Cobden Bakery provides the bread) and we’re looking to start the same arrangement in Timboon, so the local community organisations can raise a maximum amount of funds for their Saturday morning efforts. We are so grateful to have been given the opportunity to do this (and yes…. there are onions on the sausages!!)
Almost every member of our staff is involved in volunteer and community organisations outside of the work place and have a very strong community spirit.
We also sponsor or provide raffles, prizes and donations to local sporting clubs, schools and volunteer organisations in both Cobden and Timboon.