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story.lead_photo.caption Hardware business owners Pat and Dan Sweet are closing to begin their retirement. Jason Wood and Charlie Reynolds are long-time employees. Photo by Danisha Hogue / California Democrat.

After celebrating their 30th business anniversary in April, Dan and Patricia Sweet decided to get out of the hardware business.

Working for Coast to Coast, a chain of hardware stores, the couple met and married almost 34 years ago.

They moved to California to raise their family and opened the store under the chain in 1989.

In 2000, they renamed the store Sweet's Hardware & Rental. Throughout its time, the business has thrived at 510 S. Oak St.

Dan has worked in hardware stores since his sophomore year in high school. As owner, he keeps the technology and parts up to date.

"There's a lot of behind the scenes stuff," Dan said. "It's not just coming out here and selling stuff."

Running the business together without fights is one of the trophies they will take away. Pat maintains the reception work. She said working her first job was the best thing she could have done and without it none of this would have been possible.

Both owners agreed they will miss the customers and their employees, Jason Wood and Charlie Reynolds.

"We love our customers, and we appreciate them for always coming in," Pat said.

"I think that's the biggest thing we're going to miss," Dan said. "After 30 years, your customers become your friends. It kind of chokes me up a little bit. Once we sever those ties and we're not here every day, if I don't see you at Burgher Haus or at the grocery store, there's people I'll probably never see again."

Customers said they will miss the store for its small-engine shop and customer service.

"I hate to see small town stores closing," Vernon Raines said.

Bonecutters Sporting Goods & Outdoor Equipment purchased the nuts and bolts inventory. Rental equipment is available for purchase and other merchandise is currently 30 percent off. Discounts will increase as the store gets closer to its final days. Owners anticipate closing within a few weeks.

After working side-by-side so long, the couple is ready to embrace the next phase and enjoy retirement.

"We've worked six days a week our whole lives," Dan said. "We don't even take vacations together; we just can't both be gone at the same time."

Trips to Florida are on the list, as well as visiting their children, Dana and Kevin.

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