While driving by the intersection of the Sterling Highway and K-Beach Rd. in Soldotna you have most assuredly become familiar with the friendly words of wisdom and wit that greet you on the signboard at Spenard Building Supply (SBS). It changes generally on a weekly basis to cheer, inspire and challenge you as you wait the signal to proceed wherever you’re on your way to. And most likely you had no idea what’s been going on inside SBS unless you needed a hammer, widget or building materials this winter, but most of those projects don’t commence until spring after the Home Show. So you can imagine the look of surprise as customers walked through the familiar front door at SBS and beheld a showroom totally unfamiliar to them, “I usually go to SBS because I need something or have a list, walk to the service counter tell them what I want, get it and go on my way. But today I come in and wonder where I am, same familiar friendly faces, but I mean look at those windows, and all the isles are wider and stuff I never knew they had. I naturally started walking around and learned a lot about what I’m working on, you know I almost forgot what it was I came in for,” said a visitor at the May Day grand re-opening of the SBS Soldotna store.
Rick Abbott was with Superior Builders Supply, also SBS when they moved from their location on the Spur Highway in Soldotna to the new store at the K-Beach intersection in 1978. Abbott is now the branch manager for SBS and was excited to be at the grand re-opening, “We started the remodel in December and got it all polished off for the May Day grand re-opening,” he told the Dispatch in an interview. “Everything is different, we have something in the back called streetscapes with all sorts of different sidings, windows, doors, finishes and how they actually appear on a real building. You can touch it see the actual color so it is like a Home Show. All the isles in the showroom have changed are wider and easier for the customer to find what they are looking for. We have a design center and millwork center on the left of the store now and new flooring and lighting everywhere, we’re all excited about how it turned out, it was a team effort and we think people are going to really like it,” said Abbott.
By transforming some of the warehouse ground floor, the store seems to have doubled in size, “Everything is sharp, fresh and new, we have an area just for product brochures for the customers that is much bigger and more user friendly than before that helps you find what you need or to dream for the future. The customer flow of the store now guides to a new area where we have customer sales people and experts to help the remodeler. We gave up some warehouse floor space, but took the ceiling over that area are have that for warehouse storage so we actually didn’t lose area just went higher and made it work better for our employees and the customer,” explained Abbott. The remodel concept according to Abbott started at the Eagle River Store, “We learned from that and made it even better for our store and learned from this experience to help our other branches in Alaska. We hope all our friends and customers will come in and check out the new facility and tell us how they like it.” Many vendors and factory representatives also turned out for the grand re-opening to visit with customers and also expressed amazement at the results of the SBS remodel. Visitors were treated to hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken burgers, “We had lots of fun showing off the new facility and appreciate everyone who stopped by and helped us accomplish the remodel, we look forward to serving you better in the coming season to help you dream and make those dreams come true,” said Abbott.