Placerville Hardware, 441 Main St. in Placerville, is somewhat inaccurately named.
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The store is definitely a hardware store — hammers, key-making, ladders, rakes, shovels, a wall of screws and nuts and wood stain are all stocked.
But the store also carries all manner of fun things that are perfect for holiday gifts.
Albert Fausel, treasurer of the store and the third generation of his family to work there, first pointed to the “Rednek” wine glasses as a popular gift item.
“These are way cool,” Fausel said of the “hillbilly wine glasses.”
The glasses themselves are mason jars on top of a stem with a base. There are also Rednek Pumps, which are mason jars with a pump, excellent for dispensing soap or similar products.
In the same vein, Fausel showed off the classic college staple red Solo cup. This version, however, is reusable and much more durable than the original.
For a little more classy present, he pointed to wire cages to artfully hold wine corks.
“They’ve been a really hot item, also,” he said.
Another popular item for the holiday season, Fausel said, is the Luminara fake candle. Made for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” set, Fausel said the candles are the “hottest Christmas decoration we’ve got right now. It’s not the same effect as an LED candle.”
He said that because the candles look so real many customers have come into the store and were concerned.
“They keep saying,’You’re gonna burn down the display,’” he said. The candles come with a timer to conserve battery life.
Next on the gift tour were White’s GMT and MXT metal finders.
The GMT, Fausel said, is meant for gold, searching for the specific frequency of the metal, Fausel said.
The MXT is for general metal-finding and “is probably my number one metal finder. There’s a coin and jewelry mode, relic mode and prospecting mode,” Fausel said.
Fausel noted that he also rents out the low-end metal detectors. Also available for purchase for the gold hunter are sluices.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillets have also been a hot seller, Fausel said.
“These are always popular around Christmas, a lot of people are going back to iron. You can’t go wrong with it.”
The heavy skillets can be complemented with small Dutch ovens and cookbooks. The store sells steamers for hanging over a fireplace, as well.
“Steamers are popular, especially the smaller ones,” Fausel said. A “good ol’ steamer for the fireplace,” he said, “adds to the fireplace, makes it more decorative.”
Continuing with the food trend, Fausel showed off a wall that mainly displayed salt and pepper shakers of all types.
“If it’s made, we probably have it here,” he said of the designs for the shakers. He also pointed to cookie cutters, reiterating the large assortment of designs.
“If you need a cookie cutter, we most likely have it. If someone makes a batch of cookies, I’ll trade it for a cookie cutter,” he joked.
For those in need of a sharp cutting implement, cases of both Swiss Army knives and Case knives are available. “They retain their value,” Fausel said, aside from the multitude of uses the knives have.
Fausel also had a few stories to share about the shop during the holiday season.
Every year, he hangs up Christmas lights in front of the shop, and nearly every year, a bar fight is taking place. “There’s usually bar fights,” Fausel said. “That’s kind of unique.”
He also noted how well-known local Davey “Doc” Wiser comes in every Christmas Eve. “He always insists we’re open until midnight,” Fausel said, and that Wiser intends to stay until the clock strikes midnight. However, Fausel said, they aren’t open that late.
Speaking of Christmas Eve, Fausel said that the fathers and husbands who are late shoppers are always thankful for the gift wrapping.
“We do gift wrapping for free, the last minute guys really appreciate that,” he said.
The employees try to do their best to help customers on that stressful day.
“People are willing to wait for a while,” said employee Darlene Barela. “They know they’ll get good service eventually.”
Placerville Hardware can be found at 441 Main St. in Placerville. The store can be reached at 530-622-1151.