OCEAN PARK - On Monday, March 3, Oman & Son will open their brand new Ocean Park store location.
After a year of building and now at 18,000 square feet, the new store is three times larger than the old location directly to the north.
According to General Manager Troy Ramsey, the old location was very small, which limited how much stock the company could carry. He hopes that by having a larger store and more items in stock it will expand their customer base to both homeowners and contractors.
"We're looking to be more of a home center than a traditional lumber yard," Ramsey explains. "We will have more displays. We want the look of Home Depot or Lowes, especially for the people who have summer homes here and are used to those types of stores. ... Everything a homeowner would need for their house, it's one-stop shopping."
Customers will be able to shop with ease through their wide aisles of hardware, lumber, lighting, paint, plumbing, power tools, housewares, electrical supplies and much more.
New additions include a home décor center for cabinet and countertop displays; wood, tile and laminate flooring displays; kitchen, home office and bath displays; and an improved selection of lawn and garden items. With the cabinet display in the new store, Ramsey says there will no longer be cabinets at the Long Beach store.
The bright double-entryway on the southwest side of the store will be very welcoming and employees will be able to better serve their customers with three new checkstands.
With Ocean Park store manager David Fritts' sudden passing in early February, colleague Scott Corsi says the past few weeks have been "a team effort" to finish the store without him.
"This was Dave Fritts' vision and idea. We just had to finish what he had already started. He was really excited to get all of this started," explains Ramsey, who says things have gone as well as can be expected in Fritts' absence.
Customers may notice that the building features many of the products that Oman & Son sells, such as decorative doors, wood flooring and other personal touches.
"All of that was Dave's idea," says Ramsey.
A 65-year-old company, Oman & Son was created by Fred Oman in 1943 after he purchased a wood yard and box factory in Long Beach. Fred, a Naselle logger, shared the business with his brother, Oscar, a dam builder. Later, Fred's son, Roy, took over the business. Eventually Fred's grandson and Roy's son, Steve Oman, purchased the family business in 1980.
"We're pretty excited," says Steve. "It's been a long process, but we're getting close to being finished. ... Dave's death was a huge shock to all of us and it's been hard. We have big shoes to fill, but I am confident that everything will run right."
Ramsey says the Oman & Son company has 28 employees, 14 of when work in at the Ocean Park location. The original Oman's store in Long Beach was remodeled in 2005.
If you have free time this Monday, take a trip up to Ocean Park and check out the new store. The owner and manager agree that all the hard work has paid off and they look forward to showing it off to their customers.
"A lot of the work in the building was done by local craftsmen," Steve explains. "Everything that could possibly be done locally was done locally."