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Ace Hardware Celebrates 90 Years in Business

The Southampton Center Store had its roots in Crockett.

Gene Pedrotti almost didn’t get a chance to run the family business.  “At 60 years, the plan was to close the store,” said Pedrotti who is the third generation  of Pedrotti family to manage the business started by his grandfather in Crockett.

My Uncle Al gave me two years of his retirement so I could finish college and take over running the store,” said Pedrottti who was studying accounting at Cal Berkeley.  He had intended to become a CPA.

The Benicia Herald reports that Pedrotti moved to Benicia in 1992 as his business continued to grow but Crockett started to decline.

Pedotti hosted a birthday party at his Martinez home last night.  As part of the celebration three spotlights were pointed skyward, one in Benicia, one in Crockett where the company started and one at his home.  The spotlights were a memorial to past employees who have died.

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If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at benicia@patch.com.

The truth hurts June 21, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Oh boy! let me get my keys and run right over! One more bomb from your little one story town .Oh my I may have to run over to home deopt over in the next town! I may have to drive some place! It's not that the store is tiny and has nothing to sell.It's not that it's way over priced.It's the very bad way that Benicia people deal with people in general. The hill people don't dig the water people , And most of you don't like any other part of the county . Look it's not a tourist place like you people want to believe! Get over it!
Marnix A. van Ammers June 21, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I very much like the ACE store in Benicia. It's very handy. They have 90% of the things I need. The store is well lighted and the employees are always very helpful. I often drop in there just to browse. They often have very good deals on small hand tools. Sometimes I have a tricky repair job in the house and there is always someone at ACE that I can count on to help explain how to tackle the job and with what tools and supplies.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 21, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Yeh, and one would think that after 90 years a Company, a person would have learned a thing or two about fair hiring. African-Americans' pay taxes in this city and shop at Ace Hardware. But since I have been in this city for over three years; I have yet to see Mr. Pedrotti hire a one African-American Human-Being; man, woman, boy, or girl. I actually had a one on one conversation with Mr. Pedrotti about his hiring practice and as I can recall he stated some "malarkey" about qualification(code for un-fair hiring). This is all amusing and sad at the same time to me because the very items that Mr. Pedrotti sells and make his livelihood from; African-Americans' invented them! A few Inventions Created By African-Americans almanac: Benjamin Banneker auto cut-off switch: Granville T. Woods auto fishing devise: G. Cook baby buggy: W.H. Richardson chamber commode: T. Elkins curtain rod: S. R. Scratton curtain rod support: William S. Grant door knob: O. Dorsey dust pan: Lawrence P. Ray electric lampbulb: Lewis Latimer eye protector: P. Johnson fire extinguisher: T. Marshall folding chair: Brody & Surgwar insect-destroyer gun ironing board: Sarah Boone key chain: F. J. Loudin lantern: Michael C. Harvey lawn mower: L. A. Burr lawn sprinkler: J. W. Smith lock: W. A. Martin mail box: Paul L. Downing mop: Thomas W. Stewart pencil sharpener: J. L. Love refrigerator: J. Standard thermostat control: Frederick M. Jones typewriter: Burridge & Marshman
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 21, 2012 at 06:00 PM
More of the list of things Pedrotti Ace Hardware sell that was invented by African-Americans Inventions: auto fishing devise: G. Cook; May 30, 1899 automatic gear shift: Richard Spikes; February 28, 1932 bicycle frame: L.R. Johnson; Octber 10, 1899 chamber commode: T. Elkins; January 3, 1897 curtain rod: S. R. Scratton; November 30, 1889 curtain rod support: William S. Grant; August 4, 1896 door knob: O. Dorsey; December 10, 1878 door stop: O. Dorsey; December 10, 1878 dust pan: Lawrence P. Ray; August 3, 1897 electric lampbulb: Lewis Latimer; March 21, 188 fire extinguisher: T. Marshall; October 26, 1872 folding chair: Brody & Surgwar; June 11, 1889 gas mask: Garrett Morgan; October 13, 1914 golf tee: T. Grant; December 12, 1899 horse shoe: J. Ricks; March 30, 1885 improv. sugar making: Norbet Rillieux; December 10, 1846 insect-destroyer gun: A. C. Richard; February 28, 1899 key chain: F. J. Loudin; January 9, 1894 lantern: Michael C. Harvey; August 19, 1884 lawn mower: L. A. Burr; May 19, 1889 lawn sprinkler: J. W. Smith; May 4, 1897 lock: W. A. Martin; July 23, 18-- lubricating cup: Ellijah McCoy; November 15, 1895 mail box: Paul L. Downing; October 27, 1891 mop: Thomas W. Stewart; June 11, 1893 pencil sharpener: J. L. Love; November 23, 1897 phone transmitter: Granville thermostat control: Frederick M. Jones; February 23, 1960 traffic light: Garrett Morgan; November 20, 1923 typewriter: Burridge & Marshman; April
Michelle Kye June 21, 2012 at 06:10 PM
I love shopping at our local Ace Hardware. I always receive excellent customer service there and they always have what I need.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 21, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I love going out to a bar and having a good time every now and again(when I got the money) but as a thoughtful and fair minded and apathetic citizen that live in a SOCIETY with others; I choose to do the right thing and not drive when I drink (while others don't)!!!
JB Davis (Editor) June 21, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Bobby, Have you asked for an employment application from Ace Hardware?
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 21, 2012 at 07:46 PM
J.B., silly you, it's not about me, per say. I am only one person in a race of thousands in Benicia and Solano County. This is about doing the right thing and fair thing and just make it a rule to hire ALL AMERICANS!!! And yes, I have applied, years ago.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 21, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Now any other questions that evade the real issue here?
RidinLow June 21, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Nice cake...Congrats ACE Hardware, you have always been able to help me, your staff is great!
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 22, 2012 at 02:46 AM
RidinLow, you just solved the fair employment practice quagmire...."Let Them Eat Cake"!!!!
Jason June 22, 2012 at 01:59 PM
So Bobby, the answer is apparently no, you have not applied. Though I doubt it would do much good. You may want to consider the possibility that your difficulty finding work is due, at least in part, to your online conduct. If your resume came across my desk I can guarantee that your consistently racist, belligerent behavior on the Internet would send your resume straight into the circular file. You also claim that business should hire Americans, yet you run a landscaping business which does not use E-Verify. Don't you think a responsible business owner should verify the employment eligibility of his workers, especially in an industry in which illegal aliens make up a large percentage of the work force and have depressed wages well below those needed to maintain a reasonable American standard of living?
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 22, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Jason, this is my reply to J.B,!!! Now read this last sentence in this paragraph "J.B., silly you, it's not about me, per say. I am only one person in a race of thousands in Benicia and Solano County. This is about doing the right thing and fair thing and just make it a rule to hire ALL AMERICANS!!! And yes, I have applied, years ago".......(.about two years ago).It is good to know that you would deny me a job not because I speak of committing acts of terrorism, or spew murdering war like hatred, or dis-respect women, or advocate child endangerment, or advocate for violence of any type; but you would deny me employment and my 2nd amendment rights because I am a "drum major' for fair employment and equal treatment under the law. Wow, you really are the little old man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. Where is TOTO when you need him?!!! Oh that's right, I'm TOTO......Dawg!!!
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 23, 2012 at 09:10 PM
"Any man or woman that denies freedom or rights to another...deserves it not for him/herself" Abraham Lincoln(The Great Emancipator) our 16th President
Don Zampa June 24, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Congratulations Gene! Your store is amongst the most efficient and customer friendly businesses I've ever been in.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 25, 2012 at 01:04 AM
annnnnd by hiring one or two African-Americans' would render that status naught? What is your point here. I don't get it!!! This solution is very simple and do-able. Un-employment in the African-American community is double and triple in some places, that of their white counter-part. We pay taxes, we shop, we have kids, we have bills, we contribute to the county of Solano. Why my advocating for Black people to be hired is a startiing jesture; comparable to some people advocating for the legalization of Marijuana or any of societies hot point issues of the day? Why? We all know that people of any race without jobs committ crimes. Is that what you want? Just hire one or two of us and put some money in a kids pocket/bank account/life. Its' the fair thing to do and America/Solano County/Benicia will be the better for it. God Bless!!!
Robert Livesay June 25, 2012 at 01:57 AM
If a Zampa said that about Gene you can take it to the bank. Are you a relative of Dick or Gene Zampa. You could be a third or fourth generation Iron Worker and believe me you are proud of it. Do you think Bobby could get a job as an Iron Worker.
Robert Livesay June 25, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Bobby what I would like to know is just how many resumes do you send out a week. Now if this landscaping business is doing well you do not need to do that. It appears to me you are living a very normal financial life. Am I wrong? If not just what do you do for income to get along in life? I gety the feeling you are complaining and I see no positive results from your efforts. Again as I have said in the past use your political contacts to get a job. How much are you willing to work for. You might be surprised. There very well could be some employers that would love to have a willing worker on their team. . Give this systemn a chance and tell us your o9bsticles if any. This complaining is not working. Or maybe it is and the landscape business is going great guns.
Robert Livesay June 25, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Sorry for the typing errors.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" June 25, 2012 at 02:23 AM
People, I am not advocating for me. This is for the triple digit un-employment rate among African-Americans. This is for the young Black kids who gets in trouble because they don't have a job or money; so they resort to illegal tactics. These kids need a job. Stop infatuating over me, I don't want the job and I've known since I starting harping over this issue about two years ago that my chances were shot. Have you people ever felt the need to help others, be it job, protection, knowledge, mechanics, advice, etc, etc. Stop putting me in this!!! I repeat, this is not for me. It is for the young black boys and girls that need a job and need a job bad. I am ok, I will be ok, I am employed by a higher source than you simpletons could ever imagine
Don Zampa June 26, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Robert, I am one of Dick's sons and yes, a 3rd generation Iron Worker. The Iron Workers Apprenticeship is open year-round for interested applicants. Additionally, the Training Program just completed an outreach to women interested in becoming welders. Approximately 75% of the ladies that attended were either Latina or African-American and last I heard, 8 of them have gone to work as Apprentice Iron Workers.
Robert Livesay June 26, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Don I remember your father and uncle when they played football for the Alhambra Alumni. I beleive they played after Aldo Da Re. {Aldo Ray} I kinew Mario Da Re. Great athlets from Crocket.
Don Zampa June 26, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Robert, That's going back a while. My father will be happy to hear that someone has that good of a memory!
Robert Livesay June 26, 2012 at 08:47 PM
He was a good running back.
Clarissa Rivasplata July 01, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Oh, one other thing ... it's not just "blacks" who are unemployed, it includes brown, yellow, white, pink, purple, men, women, young, middle-aged and old people. With that spectrum of the rainbow and ages to choose from, an employer has their pick of the cream of the crop. It will take time to fix but it will be fixed if Americans are more aware of buying American products. Young people don't get in trouble because they don't have jobs, it's because their parents aren't paying attention to them or teaching them proper conduct and behavior. Young people can volunteer to get job experience, or do productive things rather than get into trouble or be counter-productive. It's up to the individual. You said it yourself in your own statements that there are many things that were invented by African-Americans. These people did innovative things DESPITE the color of their skin, even during times when they were not even considered people, but rather property. They did not sit around, whine and cry about how oppressed they were; they took it upon themselves to be the change they wanted to see. You ought to follow their lead.
Robert Livesay July 01, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Now Now Clarissa you just might get Bobby motivated. Good comment.

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