OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — For decades, Time Center has been a hot spot for clock and watch repairs.
Owners Tom and Mary Jane Hubber took over the family business near 120th St. and West Center Rd. 37 years ago.
"We do watch and clock repair, especially the antique wined up or weight-driven clocks, mantles, coo-coos, wall clocks. I even go to the home for grandfather clocks every morning and make home service calls. Those are hard to transport," said Tom.
Since COVID-19, Time Center has had to shorten their business hours and restrict the amount of people inside the shop at once.
"We're here from 12pm to 4pm. They knock, one person in at a time, and it's just for everyone's benefit," said Mary Jane.
The couple is constantly cleaning all surfaces and is now offering curbside and even delivery services.
One other major change is that they are not doing watch repairs until more social distancing restrictions are lifted due to possible exposure in watches.
"There could be contamination there and what a lot of people don't realize, is when I have to open the watch to change the battery, there's a battery strap with tiny screws, and I need to use my eye lubes, so the watch is within 2-3 inches of my face," said Tom. "And no matter even if you took a Lysol wipe and cleaned the top surfaces, you don't know all the little crevices where the virus could or could not be."
This change has allowed them to focus on clock repairs.
"Tom is usually 5-6 months behind," said Mary Jane. "We have 35 to 40 people come into our store every day, and now it's maybe 3-4 or 5 will come in, so we're lucky to have the service end. If we were strictly retail, there's no way we'd survive right now."
For them, only time will tell how their business will do after all of this. But for now, the Hubbers have one message for customers.
"Please don't forget about us," said Tom. "It's one of those things, we've been here so long - a lot of the customers we've gotten to know. She remembers so many customers by face and by name."
"This is our livelihood, our small family business, we've had it around for 78 years," said Mary Jane. "Tom's third generation, and we're not quite ready to retire. We are at retirement age, but it's something we'd like to do for several more years if possible."
LOCATION: 12277 W. Center Rd. Omaha, NE 68144
HOURS: Monday - Friday: 12-4PM
ADJUSTED SERVICES:In-store and curbside