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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn — A hardware store with a rich history is continuing its mission in Brooklyn, weaving through challenge after challenge.

At the ripe age of 94, Clara Hayes shows no signs of slowing down. The beloved owner of Macon Hardware on the corner of Macon Street and Marcus Garvey Boulevard in Bed-Stuy has been running this tight ship for more than seven decades.

From hardware supplies to gift bags, the inventory is wide ranging.

“I’m a jack of all trades,” Hayes told PIX11 News.

Taking over the shop for her late husband, Hayes has become a fixture in the community.

If they aren’t coming in to get a key duplicate, they’re there for conversation.

“My customers come in and they all know me, they know me as family,” she explained. “They call me Mother Hayes.”

Over the years, the shop has adjusted its inventory based on the neighborhood’s needs.

When COVID-19 struck, Hayes was forced to shut down for several weeks, but eventually came back swinging, providing face masks to the neighborhood — which became a hot seller.

“They come here first before they go anywhere else,” Catherine Solomon, a volunteer at the shop said. “They give her the play.”

These days, Hayes tends to her shop behind a sheet of plexiglass as she navigates this new normal. But rest assure, she says, not even a pandemic will stop her from reporting for duty.

“I am not going to let it pull me down. I’m not gonna sit and worry about it because there’s nothing you can do about it,” she said.

Visit the store:
Macon Hardware
339 Macon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11216
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
(718) 574-4244