When Masters collapsed earlier this year, James Stewart saw his time to strike.
With 21 years’ experience at the former Walsh’s Hardware, the Nowra local opened his new store, Stewart’s Hardware Nowra on Monday.
“It’s been pretty good already and we’ve had quite a few people through the doors,” he said.
“I’ve even had other local business people stop me in the street and give me some ideas and direction.”
While many would question the opening of a small hardware store in a market ruled by Bunnings, Mr Stewart said Stewart’s Hardware Nowra will fill a different role.
“The way we fit in we’re like a convenience hardware store, not the big box Bunnings and I like it that way,” he said.
“We’re a small business and I’ve found the town generally likes to support the smaller people.
“At the end of the day I’m also buying myself a job and creating employment for a few of the guys I used to work with.”
With many strong connections from his former role at Walsh’s Hardware, Mr Stewart hopes the business will continue to receive local support.
“I know a lot of people around here and I’ve even applied my name to this business so I’m hoping it grows,” he said.
“The staff are all likable people and I know it’s going to take a bit of time to build but we’ll get there."
Mr Stewart said while the store caters to both the weekend DIYers and tradespeople, everyone will receive the same friendly, personal service.