In tandem with the recent celebration of the anniversary of its founding, Klaffs Chairman and CEO Joe Passero takes us on a tour newly updated SoNo showroom, located on the same corner where his maternal grandparents, Joe and Mary Klaff, opened their plumbing supply and hardware store back in the 1920s.
Stamford Magazine: What led to this latest remodeling?
Joe Passero: We thought the anniversary would be a good occasion to put a fresh face on the building. We wanted to give the showroom a more urban look, characteristic of the location.
Norwalk is undergoing a revival. When my grandparents opened their hardware store, this was a manufacturing town. From there it evolved to a more suburban community. But has returned to its status as an urban destination, starting with the revitalization of the SoNo neighborhood. We wanted our building to fit this image.
STM: Your store carries many top brands in contemporary lighting, plumbing fixtures, decorative hardware and tile. You give local designers and homeowners very little reason to travel into Manhattan for the freshest looks.
JP: We’ve always been fortunate to draw the design trade to our store, and we make a concentrated effort to partner with leading vendors. We continually update our inventory, too. Many of our brands are arranged in dedicated galleries, which are like shops within shops, comparable to those you see for clothing brands in department stores such as
Saks and Neiman Marcus.
STM: Which brands have been added to collections?
JP: It’s a long list, but we have sixteen new bath galleries that include THG, Horus, Sigma, and Watermark. For lighting, we stock some designer favorites, including Visual Comfort & Co. and the ultramodern SONNEMAN—A Way of Light.
STM: You even have an outdoor lighting gallery, something you developed when you became CEO.
JP: We first installed that gallery in 1990; back then it was an innovation, and it’s been widely copied because it gives the customer an opportunity to see various lighting plans for a home’s exterior in a setting that replicates the outdoors.
STM: What’s next for Klaffs?
JP: No matter when you visit, you’re sure to see something new, such as a state-of-the-art model kitchen filled with ideas for cabinetry and convenience, or lighting and hardware designs fresh from the manufacturer’s introduction. 165 Water St., 203-866-1603; klaffs.com
Among the latest offerings at Klaffs new showroom are
mirrors that reflect every design era
marble backsplash inlays.