CHAGRIN FALLS -- More than 200-250 people took turns "occupying" the Chagrin Falls Hardware store Saturday, as a friendly "cash mob" turned out to support the family owned business.
The idea for the "event" started with Chagrin Falls resident James Black, who wanted to show local support for the Main Street store in a time when so many "big box" stores have caused other small, locally owned stores to close their doors.
Black sent out an email on Jan. 14 to his friends, asking them to show up Jan. 21 and spend at least $20 at Chagrin Hardware, located at 82 North Main Street.
The idea snowballed after former Chagrin Falls Village Councilman Bruce Corson posted the email on his Facebook page and it was reposted on multiple pages.
All day Saturday, friends and residents came from near and far to support the Shutts family, who has operated the store since 1963. The tally of the day's receipts is still underway but it's safe to say the store did "land office business" Saturday.
Many people who had never been to the store came by as well. And it's not just a hardware store, as you can find many antiques there as well.
Chagrin Hardware opened under its first owners in 1857 and has been a fixture in the village for 155 years. It is now owned by brothers Ken and Jack Shutts and their sister, Susie. The only other employee is Rob Schwind, who has been working there for 60 years.
The Shutts' are lifelong Chagrin Valley residents and Schwind, always attired in his signature blue denim overalls and sporting a gray beard, is a familiar figure on the streets of Chagrin Falls.
Black hoped that the one-day event introduced many others to this unique store and will bring new customers through its doors all year long.