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DeKalb Building Supply will have grand opening in May

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DEKALB JUNCTION — The shelves are full at DeKalb Building Supply, which is open to suggestions on how it can better serve the community, including being the host of DeKalb’s first farmers market.

“We’re working to get the inventory back up,” owner Clark R. Porter said. “At first, it was hit or miss. I think we’ve got 15,000 different items now.”

The sign at the front of the building on Route 11 still says Carvel Ace Hardware, but a new one is on its way. The store will celebrate its grand opening throughout May with further specials planned for May 16 and 17.

Hours starting in May will be 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

The store has been a mainstay of DeKalb Junction for years, but was on its last legs when Mr. Porter bought the building and inventory from Lee J. Carvel.

“It was still open but barely had a pulse,” Mr. Porter said.

Mr. Carvel is running his trophy business in the store until at least June 1.

So far, the front end of the store is stocked with Milwaukee tools, garden supplies, hardware, paint, plumbing supplies and household products. The store will offer metal roofing, spray foam insulation and lumber. Mr. Porter also is considering the grain business. A cooler for cheese may be added, as well as Amish-made goods for sale outside.

“I see us doing a tool rental eventually,” Mr. Porter said. “A lot of it is space and organization. We’re slowly improving. The store in general is not going to be your typical run-of-the-mill hardware store.”

Store employees include manager Scott A. Davison and longtime associate Linda R. Soulia. Another full-time employee has been hired.

“I’ll pretty much fill in with my other full-time people,” Mr. Porter said.

Mr. Porter, in partnership with his wife, Jordan I., said he decided to open the business because he could use up the inventory even if the business fails.

He has a property-management business for students and others in Potsdam, Canton and Gouverneur, and is a partner in Northern Tier Contracting.

The property also will host the DeKalb Farmers Market, which is scheduled to run from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays from May 7 to Oct. 15.

The market, which will take place on the same day as the weekly livestock auction, will have later hours than most. It will offer vegetables, fruit, herbs, syrup, plants, honey and crafts.

“I think it’s going to be amazing,” said Renee C. Smith, of North Country Pastured. “Hopefully it’ll take off and be another way for people to get fresh, local vegetables.”

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