A new hardware store saves trips to Dover for Smyrna and Clayton residents.

A steady stream of customers going in and out of Smyrna Community Hardware on May 23 all said the same thing.

“‘We don’t have to go to Dover anymore’ – that’s what everyone says,” said employee Kasey Shane.

Smyrna Community Hardware, which opened May 1 in Glenwood Plaza near Xbos and Smyrna News and Tobacco, is the only hardware store in town. Locals like Brenda See, who’s doing work on her home in Clayton, see the new store at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and North High Street as a convenience.

“We’re thrilled you’re here,” she told employees.

Smyrna Community Hardware sells plumbing and electrical supplies, car care products, lawn and garden supplies, tools, and paint. They also make keys and repair screens and windows. They can re-key locks, and they sell chrome bolts for cars and motorcycles.

“We have a very detailed line of nuts and bolts,” said owner Randy Dawson.

Dawson said he saw the need for a hardware store in a town without one, in an era where gas prices are too high to drive to Lowe’s or Wal-Mart.

“With the price of gas, you can’t go down to Dover,” said Dawson. “Our prices, if not right in line with Lowe’s, are not much different. It’s just we don’t carry the big ticket items.”

Rather than sell large appliances, Dawson said he runs a “hardware hardware” store, intended to help customers “get stuff done.”

Customers like Floyd Guessford Jr., of Smyrna, appreciate being able to run over to Glenwood Plaza for one or two items.

“I think most of the hardware stores had a problem because of the prices,” Guessford said. “Now it’s cheaper than going to Dover because gas is $4 a gallon.”

In addition to competitive prices, Dawson said his customers will find friendly service.

Dawson, a cabinetmaker by trade, has nearly 20 years of experience. Store manager John Brynes, has been in the hardware business for 27 years. Dawson also has six other employees.

“We’re more service-oriented,” he said.

Smyrna Community Hardware is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The phone number is 653-1144.