Aborn True Value Hardware Turns 60

Aborn True Value

Pablo Monroy, Irene Monroy, and José Monroy, L-R — and of course, Lexi, the store mascot!


Originally founded as a locksmith and Raleigh Bike dealership in 1954 by Jerry Druker, Aborn True Value has quadrupled in size and remains a locally owned business at 438 Harvard St. (at JFK Crossing) in Brookline.   It is now owned by Jose and Irene Monroy making them the fourth family to run the shop.

When it first opened it was known as Aaborn Lock. This made up name, was to ensure first listing in the Yellow Pages under the locksmith heading. According to Mr. Druker’s granddaughter Rachel, one of his prime accounts was Arthur Fiedler of Boston Pops fame. They would have long conversations about their common interest as fire trucks buffs.

Around 1970, Dave Troiano was brought in as a locksmith and within a few years became the business owner. Dave, his brother Bob and sister in law Grace continued to grow the business taking over additional store fronts. While Dave broke off to set up his separate locksmith business, Bob and Grace operated until 1995.

Jerry Katz and Jose Monroy worked together at Righter’s Hardware in Dorchester. Due to an ownership change, Jerry was urged by the representative from True Value to purchase his own store. As luck would have it, Aborn was available. With the proviso that he would come aboard as manager, Jose joined Jerry in totally revamping the store. This led to huge sale increases and a reputation as the neighborhood store that had what you needed, along with sage advice on how to complete your project. During that time Jerry brought in and sold antique tube type radios, wind up phonographs, juke boxes and pinball machines.

Itching to have his own store, Jose made the transition to store owner in 2008. Joined by his wife and son, Pablo, they spearheaded Aborn to a new level. A size increase of an additional 50% space in 2013 has ensured them a bright future. Roaming down the aisles of the brightly lit and friendly store, you will find everything from paint, electrical, plumbing, cleaning supplies, housewares and vacuums and a gazillion nuts, bolts and related hardware items. They also do repairs of screens, windows, lamps, are one of the few places that can sharpen a hand powered push mower and yes they still make keys!

Shopping locally at a business that really cares, used to be the norm, today it still is at Aborn True Value.

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