As many of you know, we bought the rock building on Cherry Street as a new location for our business. It's served many uses over the years; everything from a feed store, church, gym, tanning salon, furniture store, pet groomer, and a car dealership. Most recently its use was a resale shop. The building was in need of significant renovation when we bought it and we are happy to be able to take on the task.
As lifelong residents of Alma, we’re proud to contribute in our small way to the success and growth of our community, so keeping our business in Alma and investing locally was a clear choice. One of the major factors confirming our decision to buy a building downtown instead of moving the business back to Fort Smith or up to NWA was the Downtown Alma improvement projects that were approved by voters a few years ago. These projects have started and are sure to transform our city for the better! These kinds of projects signal a commitment by the City and the people of Alma to build and support a vibrant Downtown.
When we first got the building, our intent was to do some cleaning, bust down some walls, and do some minor updates like paint and new lighting — a month or two tops, right!? Once the building was cleaned out and we could actually see what we were dealing with, there were seemingly endless issues with the property that wouldn't be acceptable. As you can tell from some of the photos below, we had our work cut out for us. Because our old location was so close to the new one, we decided that our best option was to double down and completely demolish the interior and renovate the building from the slab up -- only leaving the exterior walls and roof.
At the beginning of 2018, we began to move portions of our equipment to the new location - this helped give us some breathing room at our existing shop while allowing us to continue filling orders and working on the building itself. Keeping store hours became more and more difficult as we started splitting our time between two places, so we went to appointment only. Come to find out, our clients love free delivery and on-site meetings. More than anything, going to an appointment only schedule allowed us to focus on our two most important tasks for the time; producing awesome products for our clients, and having the time and energy to complete projects at our new location on our own or with our contractors.
So, May 11th 2019 — it's official! Our equipment is all moved and re-installed and our production floor is nearing completion! We will remain open by appointment only as we finish the work on our new office space and showroom and get all the small things lined out. We will also continue to offer free delivery and on-site meetings with our customers.
What's left to do now? Once we finalize the showroom and office inside we'll set our focus to the exterior of the building. We hope to modernize the building with exterior lighting, paint, awnings, concrete sidewalks, paving, and a bunch of landscaping.
Thank you all so much for your support and positive feedback through this process! It has been much longer than we hoped for and we still have a ways to go, but now we're on to the fun tasks like paint & lighting. Our hope is to open our showroom in mid July. We will be hosting an open house and grand opening event once we officially launch our showroom and we hope to see you there!