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Our History

Since 1938, Hommel has been a fixture in the community. We intend to keep it that way.

In 1938, "Boss" (as contractors were often called) Clinton A. Hommel, was running a contracting business at 401 Main Street.

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He started selling plumbing supplies and appliances out of the building and in 1947 stopped doing contracting work altogether and focused just on the store. This ad is from March 13th, 1947.

When Clinton Hommel retired, his secretary, Agnes Latham and her husband, Mr. Lorraine Geehreng, bought the business. Agnes was the president and Lorraine was the vice president.

The building behind it was connected to the front building, dramatically increasing its space. There's a little door on the second floor where you can see between the buildings--including the original shingles on the front building.

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Here's an early 1960's ad touting $131.75 Frigidaire water heaters that provide "all the hot water I want--all the time!".

Here's another Hommel ad from the same era featuring $199.95 refrigerators. 

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In 1978, Bob Reeves inherited the store. Bob, the son in law of Lorraine Geehreng, had started working there in 1958. By then, it was mostly a retail store. He owned it for 24 years. Bob's son Tom Reeves started working there in 1978.

In March, 2006, Bruno and Felice Semon bought the store. They'd be just the third owner since it opened.

 

The Semon's refreshed and increased their inventory, made service a top priority, and they worked to grow their wholesale business. To this day, Hommel continues to have a strong relationship with East End plumbers and contractors. 

They also removed the signature hand-cut block letter sign and replaced it with a more modern one.

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Proposed rendering of new sign

Robert Morrow and his family, who had the foresight to start investing in and supporting Greenport’s downtown 20 years ago, also understood the major impact this plumbing supply house had on the community. So, they bought both the building and the company and promised to keep the store open.
                                                           
Mr. Morrow began sending Howard Silverman, the controller of his real estate development and property management firm, out to Greenport to manage the new acquisition, cultivate it, and start getting involved in the community.

By 2023, it was clear that Mr. Morrow's controller, Howard Silverman, was the person he could trust to keep Hommel serving the plumbers and local homeowners out here for decades to come. They began discussing the possibility of Mr. Silverman becoming the new owner.

They both agreed that the highly capable Michele Falk, a work colleague and a longtime good friend of Mr. Silverman, would make an excellent partner.

 

By summer, as they explain here, the pair bought Hommel, ensuring it will continue to be the important lifeline for so many people out here on the North Fork.

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Owners Michele Falk and Howard Silverman 

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