Brown & Roberts sold to Vermont businessman

BRATTLEBORO - One of Brattleboro's longest family-run businesses is changing hands.

Brown and Roberts co-owner Paul Putnam confirmed Wednesday that he and his brothers are selling the Main Street hardware store.

Once the deal is completed in late September it will mark the first time more than a 40 years that a member of the Putnam family will not be the owner of a downtown business.

"I'm ready to cut back," Putnam, 65, said Wednesday. "I've got 50 acres behind my house I love to work in and maybe I can keep up with the weeds now."

Putnam, who owns the Ace Hardware franchise with his brothers Michael and Robert, are selling Brown and Roberts to Rick Bibens.

Bibens owns four hardware stores in the Burlington area and a fifth in Springfield, Vt.

Putnam said he and his brothers started talking about selling the business early this year and once the put it on the market it sold very quickly.

He said it was important to the family sell it to someone who knew the hardware business, and not to someone who would be moving into the area without the hardware or business experience.

Putnam will be staying on part time after the Sept. 29 closing and he said his brothers and the rest of the staff are also expected to remain in the Brattleboro store.

"I don't think people will even notice the change," he said. "I know that I am looking forward to helping people, just like I've always done, without worrying about all of the other stuff."


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions