J G Hardware, 1634 Elgin Avenue, Dos Palos, is conveniently located on the main route connecting Dos Palos with  Firebaugh and Mendota. The inviting banner announces “Hardware.”

Jose and Irma Garcia opened their family hardware store just before Covid sent businesses into a tailspin. Folks were confused about which local businesses were allowed to open. Customers gradually started showing up. Many were seeking relief from their home’s dingy walls and needed repairs.

Looking back on the shutdown, manager Joaquin Garcia, who is the owners’ son, says, “Paint brushes–I do not know how many times I reordered paint brushes.” Customers also bought paint rollers, artist brushes and clean up supplies. People in lockdown mode were busy refreshing their homes.

Plumbing is the Garcia family’s expertise, so the store carries “all things plumbing.” The staff can help with do-it-yourself plumbing repairs and projects. Just take in a plan. Joaquin has a machine to cut to an exact length and thread all types of pipes.

“We have,” Joaquin said, “all sorts of pipe, PVC, galvanized, copper, and whatever customers need for soldering.”

Joaquin helped a customer design a small pump setup with the needed pipe and connections. Customers can get pipe of their specific diameter, such as ½ inch, 1 ¼ inches, even 2 inches if needed, cut to an exact length.

The black drainpipe comes in sizes up to six inches. There are a variety of ABS pipe fittings, coupling, caps, elbows and such.

Joaquin said that what customers notice most is the extensive boot department. There are irrigation boots, pull-on boots for work or dress and western style. Lace-up work boots come in black or brown. Children’s boots have colorful etching.

Children are a top consideration at J G Hardware. The toy rack is front and center. Joaquin explains that looking at the toys keeps children busy while parents shop for what they need. Often the parents buy an inexpensive surprise. At this time of year, the twin-shot squirter is popular.

Customers doing plumbing often need a shovel and digging tools. The store has all sorts of yard tools and push brooms. The foldup shovel is great for camping trips.

The vast array of inventory is too extensive to list here. The bolt rack is filled with choices. Choose regular or heavy-duty tarps. Get welding products and cleanup supplies for chores and grimy hands. Work gloves are nylon knit or polyester, latex coated, leather or suede or long length for welding.

Find items for the home such as over-the-door hooks or a knife, sharpener and cleaver for the kitchen. Get bike tires and bike tubes.

Joaquin, a Dos Palos High School graduate raising his young family in Dos Palos, enjoys chatting with customers. He added, “People come in looking for all kinds of things. Every time a customer asks for something, if we do not have it, I order a few immediately. Customers’ requests are key in helping us know what to carry. When the next customer asks, we will have it.”

On the internet J G Hardware has mostly five-star testimonials. One customer wrote, “I had a main water line to repair. They had quite a selection of tools and pipe among other useful things. I was able to get everything I needed to finish the job. Helpful friendly staff!”

Satisfied customers attest that the Garcias are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, and they carry quality products at good prices. Locals are grateful for the time-saving convenience.

 A challenging game would be to walk through the store, with so many types of items in stock, and not be tempted to buy any item. Customers find themselves saying, “Oh, I always wanted to get that.” Customers are amazed at what is available locally.

The hardware store opens daily beginning at 8:00 a.m. On Sundays it is open 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. They accept major credit cards. The store phone number is  (209) 364-5198.

Janet Miller

Janet Miller is a freelance writer specializing in family faith. She offers Family Prayers and Activities: Weekly Guides on compact disc for families to explore the Bible together. Email jmiller@dospalos.org.