Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a guy walks into a locksmith shop and says “do you make keys?” Funny right? Always makes SE Lock and Key’s Jason Meeks chuckle. “Twenty times a week, I bet, people ask if we make keys” he says. And that’s even after ‘The Help’ plopped a giant key above their door. The Fondren strip locksmith shop that’s been in business 25+ years originated as Blackstock’s where Meeks came to work 15 years ago. When the owners retired, that was his chance to buy in ten years ago. “I had been in the hardware business for a while and around lock work there, so I kind of got a feel for it”, Meeks says. “It’s pretty hands on , so that’s how I learned”.

In a changing industry that has it’s “up and downs”, electronics are becoming more popular, like keypad or ‘buzzed in’ entry systems. But it’s the old fashioned part of the craft that excites Meeks. “I like being able to go out and help people, unlocking cars, fixing doors that have been kicked in”, he tells us. That being said, Meeks would much rather play a proactive role than a reactive one. “I want everyone’s home and business to be locked up like Fort Knox”.

For now, Meeks and wife Kim, a partner in the business, are ‘locked up’ – in Fondren. “It’s so central and our long term clientele are around here”, Jason says, “so I don’t think we’d ever leave”. The couple say they love the ‘mom and pop’ business model so many shops around here still cling to and feel right at home in this great ‘walk around’ neighborhood. And Kim likes the vibe: “Fondren is eclectic. And funky”!

See SE Lock and Key at 3003 North State Street or at singlekeys.com.