ADAMS — Stanley's Lumber & Building Supplies, one of the town's oldest businesses, has been sold to the local owner of a contracting company for $100,000.
The purchase by John Duquette, of Berkshire County Construction, was recorded in Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds last Thursday.
Former owner Walter Slosek operated Stanley's for decades, as his father did before him. The business dates back roughly a century.
Duquette, 43, said people "still want, and need, a small hardware store in town to get everyday items."
"I would have hated to see a lumber store in Adams that's been here for so long just disappear," Duquette said Thursday. "So, I thought, if you want it to keep going, then buy it and keep it going."
Rumors of Slosek, 76, wanting to retire and close up shop had circulated about town for several years.
Town Selectman Arthur "Skip" Harrington said Slosek kept coming in to work in part because area contractors asked him to.
"He hung in there to help local people, and I think that was decent of him," Harrington said. "It's great that he was able to sell rather than closing and letting it sit."
Slosek is vacationing in Florida and was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Modernization, inventory expansion, physical improvements and new hires are in store for the shop, according to Duquette.
Duquette said he plans to invest at least $100,000 more into a "complete remodeling" inside and a "facelift" outside the store, located at 20 North Summer St. He also plans to computerize the business — where ledgers are still maintained by hand — and hire as many as three new staffers to add to the five already there.
"We're going to keep a lot more types of lumber in stock, a lot of different fasteners and, generally, all sorts of building supplies," Duquette said. "There will be more variety. The idea is we don't want people to have to wait a week for us to order something, we want to get it to them quicker."
Duquette said he'll use his experience in the building world to make the store more "contractor friendly."
"I envision this being a nice little hardware and lumber store," he said.
It was not clear whether Duquette would carry over Slosek's staff or hire his own workers and let the others go. An email asking him the question was not answered by press time.
Adams Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco said he was "happy someone wants to invest and expand here in town."
"We're hopeful new investment brings new opportunity," Mazzucco said.