Joe and Paula Clements, both military veterans, opened Clements Lock & Key at 3011 Arsenal in 1973. In its heyday, the shop employed eight full-time locksmiths; but as the decades passed and key needs changed, the staff was reduced to three: Joe, Paula, and long-time employee Scott Brouk. The trio kept the lock shop operating and continued to meet the needs of their clients, old and new, for many years – Paula manning the shop making keys, while Scott and Joe went out on service calls in South City area. Joe’s health suffered in his later years, and he passed away in April 2018.
Over the next few weeks, Paula and Scott faced a conundrum – whether to keep the shop afloat or close up, as so many other locksmiths in the area had done over the past few years. The decision was made to keep the business and adapt it to meet the needs of the 21st century. With a little luck and a lot of work, a space at the rear of the old Globe building was built out, and Clements Lock & Key moved to Cherokee and re-branded as Clements Lock & Security.
Pictured: Co-founder of Clements Lock & Key, Paula Clements, in the new shop on Cherokee
Today, locksmithing is an underappreciated art – machines at big box shops can duplicate house keys in seconds, and newer systems are going keyless altogether. But what about the pocket doors in a historic home? The motorcycle you bought on Craigslist that’s missing its key? How about a piece of antique furniture that has long lost its original skeleton key? Or, for a company like ours, the ability to re-key a dozen or more locks at once as part of a development project?
With several thousand different types of keys on-site, Scott has seen and done it all. Adapting the business model to include key systems new and old alike, Clements Lock & Security is there for your key needs for the next 50 years just like it has been for the past 50.
Pictured: Scott re-keying a historic gate that had lost its keyVisit Clements