Karigs Livingston Hardware has pretty much been the neighborhood go-to hardware store in Livingston for the past 90 years.
The mom-and-pop business has been there in the good times and in the bad and always survived despite the big-box stores opening over the years.
The store stocks many hardware items, but also special-orders many items as needed – including hard-to-find items many older Livingston homes need.
The store, founded by Martin Karig in 1923, was originally located across North Livingston Avenue near the old Silverman’s Stationary used to be. Later, owner Dick Karig moved the store to its current location at 27 N. Livingston Ave.
In 1968, fraternal twin brothers Carl and Ernie Passerini, who worked for Blue Cross, decided they wanted to open up a family business. They looked around for a hardware store to buy and fell in love with Karigs.
The pair ran successfully ran the store for many years, before bringing in Carl’s son Rick, and later his son, Dante, to take over. Now three generations of Passerini’s run Karigs.
“When people walk in, they are amazed at how much we stock,” says Rick.
“But, while they may be amazed at the scope of our items, they are also always pleased at how fast we can locate what they need,” he adds.
Karigs boasts one of the largest selections of light bulbs in the area including those from old, standard, and new fixtures for homes or offices.
In addition, Karigs also sells sturdy tools and tool sets, paint and hardware. And, they offer an extensive hard-to-find cleaning supply section for all over the house including hardwood flooring, granite countertops, and tile flooring.
One trait customers can always count on with Karigs is the superior customer service. The staff, which also includes Scott and Andy, is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful and they really aim to serve their customers.
The staff prides itself on being knowledgeable on electrical, plumbing and home maintenance products and can help do-it yourselfers learn how to make their own repairs.
“When I walk into Karigs, I always know they have my back,” said Pat Santorsola, a customer who works in Livingston.
“If I bring in a broken item, they not only have a perfect replacement, but they will also take the time to explain how I can fix the item without buying a new one, or how to install what I am buying,” he added.
But Karigs has changed with the times and has branched out to sell other items besides hardware. They also carry key chains, clock radios, decorative candles, specialty soaps, Keurig’s coffee machines, and the cheapest K-Cups around.
In addition, customers are welcome to gaze through catalogs for lawn furniture, Weber grills — as well as grilling gear and sauces — and custom-made plaques, mailboxes and signs.
And, if you need winter items like ice scrapers, snow shovels, ice melt, sleds, heaters, or even winter gloves and hats, Karigs sells them as well.
And, in the summer, you’ll see colorful outdoor chairs, watering cans, decorative sprinklers and hoses for sale.
Karigs is located at 27 N. Livingston Ave., Livingston. Call (973) 992-0022. The store is open Monday-Friday 8:30-5:30, Sat 8:30-4:30 and closed on Sunday.