A familiar face to generations of hardware shoppers and a leader of the Little Italy business community has died.
Sandro “Sam” Giannetti, who owned Preston Hardware with his brother Mario and brother-in-law Mario Frangione for more than four decades, died unexpectedly on June 22 while vacationing in his native Italy. He was 67.
“Sam was a trusted friend to countless customers, suppliers and employees,” a post on the store’s Facebook page says. “He loved life and lived it to the fullest.”
Giannetti, his brother and brother-in-law bought the iconic Preston Street store in 1973 and grew it into the largest independent hardware retailer in Canada with more than 110 full-time employees.
Over the years, they expanded the business’s footprint to nearly 100,000 square feet of retail and storage space, selling everything from power tools and paint to sinks and sporting goods. The company also offers winemaking supplies, grapes and wine juices through its Preston Wine division.
Giannetti and his wife of 45 years, Cecilia, have four children – Johnny, Roberto, Sylvia and Paolo – and eight grandchildren.
A funeral service was held Wednesday morning at St. Anthony’s Church.