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Pound Ridge Merchants Gear Up for Father’s Day

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – New Canaan, Conn. resident Dorian Roberts came to Chubby’s Hardware in Scott’s Corners Thursday morning to pick up a few odds and ends she needed for around the house. But when she overheard people talking about Father’s Day gifts, she decided she’d take advantage of her visit and get something for her husband while she was there.

Roberts ended up buying a product made popular by TV infomercials – a Grill Daddy, a grill cleaner that employs steam to clean the metal grates.

“He doesn’t really like to clean the grill, but this might make it more interesting,” she said. “I just don’t want to get him another tie or a pair of socks.”

Grills are always a popular Father’s Day gift item, said Chubby’s owner Joe DiPietro. He said he sells most of them between Father’s Day and the Fourth of July.

“The Big Green Egg has always been a big seller for Father’s Day,” he said. “It’s ceramic and you can use it to grill burgers, but it’s primarily a smoker. The Weber gas grills are also popular.”

Not surprisingly, power tools also top the Father’s Day gift list.

“We sell a lot of chainsaws and weed trimmers by STIHL,” DiPietro said.

STIHL, pronounced steel, won’t sell its products through big box stores like Home Depot, preferring to use smaller retailers such as Chubby’s that can help customers with their expertise.

“Hammocks are also a big seller,” DiPietro said, pointing to the hammocks hanging from the store’s ceiling. “But for a lot of fathers, the luxury is not the hammock itself, but finding the time to use it.”

For kids looking to break open their piggy banks to get dad a present, DiPietro said his store offers more modest gifts, such as the retractable back scratcher, which sells for about $4.

“It looks like a Bonsai rake,” he said with a laugh.

Alex Rubio, general manager of Pound Ridge Wine & Spirits, said liquor is a traditional Father’s Day gift, especially if Dad is an aficionado of a particular spirit.

“I have things [for Father’s Day] that people don’t normally buy as an everyday purchase,” he said. “We sell a lot of small-batch bourbons and single-malt scotches like the 18-year-old Laphroaig.”

For dads who are wine lovers, Rubio said high-end Cabernets that range from $75 to $100 a bottle are also popular. His store also has a wine club, and Rubio said a membership would make a good gift. It costs $50 a month and provides members with three bottles per month.

“We usually have a theme each month, like wines from Tuscany,” he said. “Plus members get a 15 percent discount on all purchases and have first shot at all close-out items.”

However, if you’re not sure about what Dad likes and are intimidated by the overwhelming number of choices, Rubio said to go with a gift certificate.

“It makes it so much easier and Dad and can get whatever he wants,” he said.

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