Hauck’s Handy Store has been a Germantown fixture since 1912. Amid a changing neighborhood and retail industry, the granddaughters of the woman who started Hauck’s have decided to sell the store and adjoining properties so that they can retire.
Karen Hauck said the bones of store have changed little in look since the late 1940s, after her father George came home from the Navy and took it over from his mother, Elizabeth. The walls are still lined with green tile and wooden shelves, which he built.
On a recent morning at the store, which will close down after the buildings are sold, Karen Hauck described her grandmother as a notable entrepreneur.
“She had three stores at one time and she lost two of them in the Depression. And she was able to keep this one,” she said. “My grandfather never worked in the store. He had a job at a brewery, so he really never a part of the business. She ran the business by herself.”
Over the years, the neighborhood surrounding Hauck’s has changed. So has the retail industry.
“It’s just time. It’s good that we’re still here to say that, that it’s time to do it,” Hauck said.
In the player above, listen to Karen Hauck reflect on her family’s beloved business as she comes to terms with closing it down.