GALESBURG, Ill. — The Lock and Key Shop started in Galesburg in 1960 and has remained in town to this day. Amos Blevins, current owner, began working in the shop in 1977 with no prior knowledge in locksmithing. Through the manuals around the shop and hands-on training, Blevins learned the key skills to become a professional locksmith over the course of five years and took the store over in 1982. His wife Nancy would begin working in the same shop 10 years later.

Blevins explained that the current state of the business is much different than it was years ago. With the advent of digital locks and key cards, there is a new set of skills required to meet everyone’s needs. However, he believes there will always be a need for a physical locksmith on hand. In the future, whenever the next locksmith comes to take over the store, Blevins insists that they will have to be ready to face a new electronic era of the profession.

Blevins sees much of the success of his store coming from the relationships he and his wife have made with the Galesburg community. As the only locksmith in the area, Blevins understand the responsibility the store holds and how much people depend on his service. His main goals when serving people are to treat them fairly and give them service that will keep them coming back.

“We know nearly 90 percent of the people in town I’d say,” Blevins said. “One and done is no good in a small town. You have to build relationships with your customers.”

Blevins plans to retire soon from the store and possibly move closer to family. After running the store for over 40 years, he still loves the profession and the service he and his wife provide.

“This has really all became a part of me,” Blevins said. “Even after I’m finished, I’ll still find ways to do this work. I still enjoy it to this day.”


Source: The Galesburg Register Mail, http://bit.ly/2tHQjee


Information from: Herald & Review, http://www.herald-review.com

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MITCH PRENTICE
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