Snow has benefitted some local
Helps landscapers, hardware
by Paul J. Macrie IV, Gazette
HAMMONTON—If it has seemed as
though it has snowed almost every day this
winter, the perception isn’t far from reality.
Though not every storm has been significant, the
nuisance events have still created problems for
residents as well. Landscapers, hardware stores
and other snow-related retail locations have
been affected both positively and negatively by
the snowy winter.
Brian Hughes of All-Scape Landscaping, LLC. said
he has been extremely busy with snow removal
this winter, and it has been a boost for his
“I know the snow has affected other businesses,
but as far as our business, it is helping me and
my employees because they need work too. As far
as the snowy winter goes, we are liking it,”
Hughes and his employees have accumulated
significant overtime hours this winter season
due to the repeated snowy conditions, and
especially the overnight shifts. Despite the
benefits wintry weather can have for landscaping
businesses who typically experience some down
time in the winter months, Hughes is ready for
“I am waiting for spring to come now. I have had
enough of this now,” he said.
Another local landscaper, Ben Castone, stated
this has been the busiest winter for him since
starting the business.
“We are really busy with the snow. If it wasn’t
snowing, we would still be doing cleanups. I
still have had a lot of fall cleanups in between
the snow. We are pretty much not going to have a
break this year. We are going to work straight
through. We normally have about a month off, and
then we start up again on March 1. It looks like
we are going to work straight through, which is
good. I really don’t want to take any time off,”
Ace Hardware, located on North Egg Harbor Road,
has been selling items such as salt on a
frequent basis this winter. The store’s general
manager John Michael said the issue has been
getting the salt because of the increased demand
and other suppliers have been low on
“Really the thing is it comes from Chile, so by
the time it gets here and manufactured in the
bags, it is too late and spring is going to be
here. So, they aren’t even buying it,” Michael
Michael said there have been a lot of roof
repairs needed from the heavy amount of snow and
leaks from the ice. Frozen pipes and gutters
have been other major issues this winter.
“We have been selling items that you can wrap
around your pipes for the frozen pipe issue. We
have sold quite a few of those kits, and gutter
de-icing kits. It is like an electric heater for
your gutter. The really low temperatures cause
the gutters to freeze. That is about it when it
pertains to home repairs and winter damage,”
Ace Hardware has been selling snow
removal-related items, and it has helped
business during a period of time when there
tends to be less activity during winters where
less snow falls.
“Anytime there is snow, the rock salt and shovel
sales are up. It helps the business during the
dead of winter,” Michael said.
Joseph Arena, owner of Arena Buick, GMC, Cub
Cadet, said the sales of his Cub Cadet equipment
have been modest despite the above normal
snowfall this winter. There has been more
activity compared to seasons where there has
been minimal snow, but Arena said the weather
actually prevents people from coming out to buy
items related to snow removal.
“We haven’t had the type of snow that we could
have had. [Sales] have been moderate. It is
nothing exciting. I think if we had more snow
like in Marlton and Berlin and those places just
west of us, we would have made out better. Now,
we are at the end of the run and 10 more days it
will be spring and all, so we have seen a little
uptick but nothing too drastic,” Arena said.
The Cub Cadet Snow removal equipment, such as
snow blowers and plows haven’t been needed in
several instances this year, where there have
been only a few inches of snow.
“We have had the frequency of storms, but some
of these storms there are no need for our
equipment. Honestly, as rough as a winter as it
has been and as much of an inconvenience as it
has been, we didn’t get nearly what we could
have had,” Arena said.
Robert Thornewell of Sears of Hammonton said the
snow has impacted his business both in a
positive and a negative way. Thornewell said he
didn’t sell as many snow blowers as some might
expect, but it still managed to help during the
difficult winter months.
“The snow blower business we did have carried us
through the winter. People don’t want to shop
when it is cold or snowy like that. It actually
impacted us in a negative way and if it wasn’t
for the snow blower business, then we would have
been in trouble,” Thornewell said.
Rodio Tractor Sales, Inc. was very busy this
winter. According to owner Butch Rodio, the
business had its best January since 2007 when
they put their new computer systems in to look
back at sales history.
“The snow has definitely generated a lot, a lot
of business for any retailer like myself that
has snow equipment or like the landscapers that
are pushing snow. They have probably had more
revenue in a while, compared to the last two
winters when they had virtually no revenue,”
For Rodio and his business, it is a domino
effect. If landscapers and farmers have
prosperous winters where they remain busy with
snow removal, such as this year, it will help
his business in the winter, leading into the
“Years like this where these guys are generating
a lot of income, it helps us. In the springtime
it helps us too, and not only the winter. In the
springtime these guys have revenue, so they come
in here to buy items. They have money that they
have made through the winter. Instead of being
winter poor, they are winter rich,” Rodio said.
Snow spreaders, blades, blowers and push boxes
have been the most popular items being sold at
Rodio Tractor Sales, Inc., according to Rodio.
“I don’t sell salt, but salt was a huge
commodity. We do sell brine, which they use to
pretreat the roads and parking lots and
sidewalks. They pretreat them before the storms.
We do sell brine and we have sold a lot of that
this year. A lot of the push spreaders and salt
spreaders that go on the back of trucks or under
the tailgate spreaders that they put on dump
trucks have been sold. We have sold parts, a lot
of these snow-related parts. If the equipment
breaks down when they are pushing with tractors
or trucks and they are breaking the snow plow
and the tractor brakes from pushing snow, it is
created more business. We have been pretty busy
with all the snow this winter,” Rodio said.
From the individuals The Gazette spoke with
associated with businesses in town, there has
been a mixed bag of results pertaining to the
snowy winter. Some retailers, hardware stores
and landscapers have been very pleased with
business, while others have seen modest sales.