A1 Lock and Key: Locked in the community

Husband and wife Martin and Terri Hinshaw have owned and operated A1 Lock and Key for over two years now. (Photo by Ron Sundquist)

A1 Lock and Key provides citizens of Clovis with a variety of locksmithing services, from duplicate keys to security systems.

Husband and wife Martin and Terri Hinshaw opened A1 Lock and Key in Old Town Clovis in March 2015. They were contacted by the building’s owner and asked if they wanted to open a store.

“It pretty much fell into our lap,” Terri said.

She said they were pleased to open a store in Old Town Clovis because they were already familiar with the area.

“Everybody knows everybody down here. The majority of people like to shop local,” she added.

Martin manages the store while Terri handles the behind-the-scenes aspect like paperwork and billing. Before the store opened, Martin worked as a mobile locksmith and general contractor. Locksmiths are limited to work that costs less than 500 dollars, whereas general contractors aren’t required to adhere to a monetary limit.

A1 Lock and Key is located at 515 4th Street in Old Town Clovis. (Photo by Ron Sundquist)

He said he likes working in a store compared to being mobile because he interacts with customers more – most of whom he knows by name.

In addition, having a storefront allows them to carry more inventory. Terri said some customers like having the option of visiting a store to look at products, and they appreciate being able to bring items to a store rather than calling someone who works independently

“They can come in and look at what finish or what color they want,” Terri said. “Rather than calling and trying to describe. They like the fact that they can come in and we can problem solve and attend to their needs here.”

A1 Lock and Key, however, is still a mobile business as well as a store. A1 also rekeys homes, meaning anyone who previously owned a key can no longer enter the home. The store also offers access control services for commercial businesses, door hardware and automotive services.

“Locksmithing is not just keys,” Martin said. “You get to use your mind on everything you can imagine.”

Martin added he enjoys this type of work because it stimulates his mind.

“I enjoy this because I get a lot of people with challenges,” he said. “You basically get to utilize your mind, your creativity. It goes past a mundane thing.”