Something is brewing at Olympic Restaurant Equipment and it smells good.
The food service equipment dealer was awarded a $5,000 business development consulting grant from the Excell Marketing and Procurement Group for being one of the group’s top 20 dealers across the nation in terms of growth potential and participation. Olympic Restaurant Equipment is using the money to expand and relocate to a lot on the corner of Dryke Road and U.S. Highway 101 West. If all goes as planned, the move should take place by September or October, said owner Eric Schwartz.
The new building will be bigger than the business’s East Washington Street location by at least 2,000 square feet. The store’s layout will make finding products easier and more storage space means increased stock.
“There are so many things we want to offer to expand our services to the community and now we can,” Schwartz said. “We are experiencing our fair share of growing pains but are dedicated to providing even better service to customers.”
Schwartz, a classically trained chef who’s worked in restaurants, corporate resorts and operated his own catering company for years, opened Olympic Restaurant Equipment nine years ago. The business started as a one-man operation in his garage, grew to a small Carlsborg warehouse and then moved to downtown Sequim. Owning a building versus leasing is a dream come true.
“I don’t know how to build a home or plumb a house, but I can cook and I know cooking equipment,” Schwartz said. “The first few years (in business) were extremely difficult. We were buying as individuals and trying to compete with national catalogs and the Internet.”
When Schwartz was approached by Excell, the future of Olympic Restaurant Equipment was forever changed. “The group has very high standards for its vendors,” he said. “It‘s an extremely competitive business and is hard to make a go of it independently, so we are very proud to be a member of Excell. We have access to great deals and discounts and lines of equipment we couldn’t buy before because of the group.”
Though Olympic Restaurant Equipment caters to restaurants, schools, hospitals, assisted living and nursing homes, and area tribal casinos, the business is open to the public and sells small appliances and kitchenware suitable for homeowners.
“From one spoon to a whole restaurant, we do it all,” Schwartz said.
Once the move is complete, Schwartz plans to focus on attracting new customers.
“We are a customer service focused company and we understand that a lot of restaurants have loyalties to other providers, but if you ever decide to make a change, we can provide the same services and would love businesses to give us a try,” Schwartz said. “We would love the opportunity to show you we can save you money and provide an even higher level of service.”
“We are ready to grow with the community,” he said.
Box: Appliances and kitchenware for restaurants and individuals
Olympic Restaurant Equipment is relocating from 425 E. Washington St. to the corner of Dryke Road and U.S. Highway 101 West. The business is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturday by appointment. The store will remain open during the transition, making the move as quickly and easily as possible, according to owner Eric Schwartz. For more information, call 582-1050 or go online to www.olympickitchens.com.