Stephani and Joe Carnevale plan to expand Sonoita Hardware to offer outdoor recreational items and more building supplies. Photo by Jo Dean

Sonoita Hardware and Buffalo Gals, a valued asset to our community, has been purchased by Joe and Stephani Carnevale.

The new owners are bringing renewed energy, enthusiasm, and a positive vision for local enterprise and community connections. They are joined by Joe’s brother, Michael Carnevale, a 1995 graduate of Patagonia High School, as the manager.

The Carnevale family has been in Sonoita for the past 30 years. Joe’s parents, Pete and Pat Carnevale, moved to Sonoita in 1990. Joe, who was acting as contractor for his parents’ home and casita, found the long drives to larger towns for supplies inefficient and expensive, sowing the seeds that ultimately led him to purchase the local hardware store this year.

Carnevale has been working as a contractor for the past 20 years in Indiana. The couple still own and operate Associate Drywall Partners in Indianapolis.

The hardware store in Sonoita was founded by Bob Barnhill, Bill Bowman and Jeff Wright in the early 1990s. It was called Wright’s Lumber until it was purchased by Larry and Susan McDonald in 1996 and renamed Sonoita Hardware. Buffalo Gals, the gift shop within the store, was added in 2000 by Susan McDonald after her husband told her that “You have to do something to make this place attractive to women,” said Susan.

Now, under the ownership by the Carnevales, the chain retailer is True Value. The advantage for the customer is True Value’s online option, according to Joe. Customers can order any True Value product from with the shop and choose the Ship-to-Store option with free shipping. He stated that orders placed early in the week will likely be available for pick-up by the end of the week.

Plans are to more than double the square footage of the current building. Where the parking lot is located on the south side there will be a small nursery providing items that will not compete with their neighbor Diamond JK Nursery. Two additions to the existing building will extend west towards Highway 83. One addition will carry outdoor recreational supplies and the other will carry building supplies, including lumber. A new entryway will be on the west side dividing the two new additions.

The Carnevales promote “Made in the USA” and will avoid products made in China as much as possible. The plan for the gift shop is to attract local art and crafts with the goal of having all inventory for the gift shop locally made.

Sonoita Hardware will continue to be an integral part of the local community, providing a diverse inventory for hardware, home, and garden needs while promoting community unity and support.

Sonoita Hardware and Buffalo Gals is located at 3149 AZ-83, Sonoita. Open Monday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00p.m. Closed Sunday. email: Phone: 520 455 5523.