By Jill Nagy
Matchless Stove and Chimney of Clifton Park plans to move to a new location, 1581 Route 9 in Halfmoon, a retail plaza they recently purchased.
The new venue, only two miles south of the company’s present home, will give the company more space, some rental income, and, possibly, a hedge against inflation, according to company owner Jeremiah Madden.
Madden found the new location almost by chance.
“I was actually driving down Route 9 and saw a sign in the window,” he recalled, “I pulled in one snowy day and had a feeling in my gut it was right.”
The building is now undergoing renovation down to the studs for a new showroom. It will also get a new road sign, landscaping, sidewalks, paint and new facing.
Madden is calling upon 25 years of remodeling experience to guide the project. Cooney Contracting is doing about 90 percent of the work, he estimated, but Madden is onsite and hands-on everyday. His wife, Sonya, who, he said, “has a keen eye for design and paint colors,” is contributing to the design aspects of the project.
The company will give up its rented space in Clifton Park but will keep its other location, in Glenmont, as a base of operations. They recently remodeled part of the showroom there as well as freshening up their offices.
Gas fireplaces are the mainstay of Matchless’s business. They sell, install, and service fireplaces, stoves and chimneys and build mantels and other stonework around fireplaces.
The company was started by Madden’s father, Tim Madden, a chimney sweep, more than 40 years ago. Subsequently, the elder Madden purchased two wood stove retail businesses. Today, wood-burning stoves constitute 10-15 percent of the company’s business, Madden estimated, and their primary business is gas inserts for fireplaces.
“Gas is our core product in service, retail and installation. We sell the most realistic gas appliances made,” he said.
The company has 30 employees and plans to hire two or three more. Madden estimates that they service over 3,000 fireplaces, stoves, and chimneys. Annual sales are more than $3 million.
The new location, across from Hewitt’s Garden Center, cost $1.55 million. It includes two acres of land as well as the strip mall
Madden found that the pandemic was initially bad for business but demand spiked as people spent more time at home and decided to make improvements like converting wood-burning fireplaces to gas or purchasing stoves. At present, he said, the industry cannot keep up with demand and all the major manufacturers are rationing fireplaces.
During the worst of the pandemic, “every day was a little bit different. We did service and made one man jobs, following all the guidelines. It was rough but we were able to pay our staff even when not making money and give them a place to work in the roughest times of COVID.”
Madden said “we are really excited to move to Halfmoon from Clifton Park. We will be able to offer 24 burning displays with most current designs, finishes, colors and features in our new showroom.”
If all goes well, they will open the new facility around Sept. 1.