On February 22, 1884, George Hutchins made a purchase at S&F Sanford Company which had recently opened in an old mill near the junction of Roaring Brook and the Farmington River in Unionville.
The sale may not have been particularly noteworthy, as there is no record of the item purchased, but, unwittingly, Hutchins had begun a tradition of doing business with the "Red Store on the Corner". A tradition that still survives at Sanford & Hawley.
Sanford & Hawley is the oldest business in Farmington, CT, owned by the same family and at the same location. The Hawley’s left the company in the 1920’s, but the Sanford’s have survived the many obstacles that have been thrown their way. The company is now operated by Frank, Bob, Ted and Bobby Sanford.
Despite the many years that have passed, the original "Red Store" hasn't changed much. Employment has grown from four to nearly fifty. Horse-drawn wagons have been replaced by modern delivery trucks; some equipped with forklifts or booms. The many sheds and warehouses along the brook have been replaced by a drive-through warehouse in 2009. The same pitched roof is still there and perhaps most importantly, the same friendly country charm.
Frank Sanford credits the long-term success of Sanford & Hawley with being "in the right spot," but adds that the down home atmosphere is credited for its survival. Many other changes need to be accredited to Sanford & Hawley's success including hard work and determination, not only from the owners, but from the employees who are dedicated to their jobs and the customers.
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