There are more than a thousand ticking, chiming clocks cramming the floors and wall spaces at House of Clocks in Lodi. There are grandfather clocks, one dating to the late 1700s, and several others at least 100 years old. There are cuckoo clocks, musical clocks, key wind, neon, wind chime, designer and cat clocks, with price tags from $12.95 for a basic alarm clock to $8,000 for a Howard Miller grandfather clock.
House of Clocks has been operated by the Hohn family since 1970, with Chuck and Sandy Hohn (married since 1983), and Chuck’s brother Steve Hohn as the current owners.
“Honest work, fair prices and we treat people the right way. That’s always been our motto,” says Chuck, whose sons A.J. and Joey Hohn have also worked at the business over the years. “We really do the work.”
A clock shop should not only sell clocks, but repair them as well, Chuck says. They sell between 60-80 grandfather clocks a year, and will fix grandfather clocks off-site, with Steve traveling from Sacramento to Modesto to do repairs on larger clocks at customers’ houses, while also offering on-site repairs for other types of clocks.
“The calls really picked up during the pandemic when people seemed to have the time to clear out their estates,” says Sandy, noting that the business receives about a dozen requests a week asking the shop to purchase grandfather clocks from customers, which they can’t always fulfill.
The business doesn’t sell online, instead focusing on a well-stocked showroom while offering friendly expertise. “Who wants to come to work every day and be nasty?” Chuck asks.
House of Clocks, located in the middle of Lodi’s retail district on South School Street, really began in the mid-1960s, when Joe Hohn (father of Chuck and Steve) learned clock repair while in the military stationed in Germany. Back in California with wife Marie, he repaired clocks beginning in 1970 out of a nearby converted house in Lodi, where the name House of Clocks was born.
The store moved to the Lakewood Mall in Lodi, then to Church Street before moving into its current 5,000-foot location almost 20 years ago. Joe and Marie passed away in 2003 and 2009, respectively, at which point the current owners took over. House of Clocks also had a second location in Stockton for 36 years, closing that store about 10 years ago and moving everything to Lodi, Chuck says.
“They take good care of me here,” says regular customer Duane Brown, who lives in Linden and recently had a clock he bought for his son depicting the U.S. Marine Corps repaired. “They’re always so friendly and polite, always smiling, like family.”
“You run a shop, you do everything. You clean, you answer the phone, talk to customers, do repairs, do what has to be done.”Chuck Hohn, owner, House of Clocks
Chuck, a graduate of Tokay High School in Lodi, says he picked up the intricate science of clock repair “along the way,” and really learned the business running the Stockton store. “I worked in the Stockton shop by myself for a long time. You run a shop, you do everything. You clean, you answer the phone, talk to customers, do repairs, do what has to be done.”
Having recently celebrated House of Clock’s 51st anniversary, Chuck says he’s hoping to carry on the family tradition another nine years before deciding what’s next. Local officials hosted a 50-year celebration in 2020, and the Lodi Chamber of Commerce named them the Bill Dauer Small Business of the Year.
“My goal is to get to 60 years,” Chuck says. “We’ve been doing this since we were kids and we don’t dedicate ourselves to this job just to cut corners. My dad always said ‘Do it right or don’t do it,’ so that’s what we do.”
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