James Rada, Jr.
As I was speaking with Mark Zurgable, a man walked into Zurgable Brothers Hardware looking for PVC glue and a part. Mark quickly showed him where both were.
As the man walked up to the register to pay for the items, he said, “You guys are a lifesaver. This keeps me from having to run all the way to Frederick for them.”
Hometown service and convenience is great, and it’s something that Zurgable Brothers Hardware has been providing Emmitsburg for decades.
Seventy years ago this month, Henry, Maurice, and Roger Zurgable went into business together. Fresh home from World War II, the brothers opened a store, selling farm machinery and feed outside of Emmitsburg.
“My dad built this with his own hands from scratch,” said Mark Zurgable.
The brothers soon opened a second store in town called Zurgable Brothers Home Furnishing. Henry Zurgable ran this location, which sold quality furniture.
At the first store, the brothers expanded their farm and feed business by adding hardware in 1953. When the furniture store closed in 1968, the brothers focused their attention on growing the hardware business.
“We offer just about anything you might need,” Mark said. “Paint, electrical supplies, plumbing. When it comes to hardware, we’ve got it all.”
He purchases his inventory from the largest independent hardware wholesaler in the United States to ensure that he’s getting items at a price that is competitive with the big-box hardware stores.
Zurgable Brothers has also managed to remain an independent retailer, rather than becoming part of a chain. It means extra work for Mark, but he can also run the business the way he wants.
“It’s been a lot of hard work,” expressed Mark. “You have to buy right and sell at the right price to compete with the box stores on price.”
Mark has worked at the store for thirty-six years, providing quality service to his customers. Quality service is something that the big-box stores still haven’t been able to match Zurgables on.
The latest challenge to his business was the Internet. “People want to go on Amazon and order something and have it shipped right to their front door,” Mark said. What frustrates him somewhat is that those people who buy their parts off the Internet or from a big-box store come to Zurgables to get them installed. “I’m glad to get a part of the business, but why not check out our prices?” Mark believes that people have the impression that the big-box stores are cheaper on all products, which just isn’t true.
Zurgable Brothers is the last original retail store in Emmitsburg. Mark works at the store six days a week, twelve hours a day. “My life is in this store. It’s all that I have ever done.”
Zurgable Brothers is located at 16663 Old Emmitsburg Road in Emmitsburg. You can reach them at 301-447-2020.
Mark Zurgable of Zurgable Brothers Hardware, celebrating seventy years of hometown service.