Cullman’s hometown locksmith

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Mark Johnson, owner of Hometown Locksmith, works on a job in Cullman this week. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Hometown Locksmith has been open in Cullman for just a year, but owner Mark Johnson is hardly new to the business. Johnson has lived in Cullman for most of his life and has spent the last two decades working as a locksmith in the community.

“I’ve been a locksmith for about 20 years. I got started by building houses for about 20 years until I decided I was getting older and needed a new occupation that wasn’t as bad on my old body,” Johnson joked. “So, I took a locksmith job 20 years ago and it worked out pretty good.”

Johnson started his own business last year and has found that working as his own boss has been rewarding.

“I enjoy it. I work by myself and I enjoy talking with my customers and just dealing with people, dealing with the folks, and it’s not nearly as stressful working for myself as it was working for someone else to be honest with you,” Johnson laughed. “It’s very rewarding.”

Johnson said the biggest challenge he faces in his work is automation. With new equipment and technology changing things seemingly every day, it can be taxing for Johnson to keep up.

“Stuff is changing constantly, you know,” Johnson said. “With some of the new transponder keys, everything programs differently and you have to have different equipment to program it, and just getting some of the equipment you need for the new laser-cut keys is just really expensive.”

Despite facing some obstacles from time to time, Johnson said he’s happy to be his own boss and Cullman’s local locksmith. He loves working within the community and looks for opportunities to help when he can.

“It’s a lot of people I already know, customers I already knew and a lot of people, when they find out I’m in business for myself, start using me as their locksmith,” Johnson said. “I like to save people some money. I don’t charge as much as some others do, and it’s an expensive business to get into. The equipment you need is very expensive, but I do like to try and save people as much money as I can.”

You can reach Johnson and Hometown Locksmith at 256-736-3017.

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