From the floor up
By RACHEL BRANT
Bremerton Patriot Staff writer
June 11, 2009 · Updated 2:19 PM
Wholesale Flooring Source scheduled to celebrate grand opening July 11.
Dave Heeter knows his way around tile, carpet, vinyl and hardwood.
Heeter, a 40-year-old veteran of the flooring business, is the general manager of Wholesale Flooring Source on Kitsap Way in Bremerton, which opened late last year.
Heeter worked at another Bremerton flooring business for years before opening Wholesale Flooring Source.
“I owned what now is the Abbey (Carpet) store,” he said. “My wife and I built that 22 years ago.”
Heeter left Abbey Carpet last year and he and his wife thought about moving to Eastern Washington to be closer to their grandchildren, but his ex-son-in-law had other plans.
“I wasn’t really planning on getting back into the business,” Heeter said.
When he left Abbey Carpet, Heeter called his ex-son-in-law, who owns World Imports LLC in Kennewick. He told Heeter his flooring business was looking to open a store in the Kitsap area and asked him if he would be willing to manage it.
“He said, ‘Does that sound feasible?’ and I said, ‘That sounds pretty damn good right now,’” Heeter said with a smile.
Wholesale Flooring Source opened Nov. 1, 2008 and directly imports granite, ceramic, tile and ledge stone as well as a selection of carpets, vinyl, hardwood and laminates. Wholesale Flooring Source also sells cabinets and countertops.
Heeter said his customers from Abbey Carpet followed him to Wholesale Flooring Source and business is good.
“I have clientele from almost the last 40 years and it’s amazing how many followed me over here,” he said. “It’s been great and it’s just been ramping up.”
Customers aren’t the only ones who followed Heeter to Wholesale Flooring Source. Carolyn McBride left Abbey Carpet and now works alongside Heeter at Wholesale Flooring Source as a sales associate.
“We make it fun,” McBride said. “It’s something you just can’t beat.”
Heeter said the business is a “wholesale/retail concept and it’s been very well received.” He said Wholesale Flooring Source typically has lower prices than other flooring businesses. Their bids are generally 30-40 percent lower than other businesses’ bids for projects, he added.
“Being a national direct importing company gives us a huge advantage,” Heeter said.
He said the business’ location on Kitsap Way has been fantastic because many people drive or walk by the store every day.
“We knew this would be a good location, but we had no idea,” he said. “There’s a huge amount of traffic.”
With business doing well, Heeter said they are building a storage yard next to the office so they can keep lots of products on hand for customers.
“We kind of figured that if we can make it through these times, we can make it through any times,” he said.
Heeter said just he, McBride and a part-time delivery driver work at Wholesale Flooring Source and they plan to keep it that way as long as possible.
“Carolyn and I are just going to get to where we just can’t cram anymore into a day before we hire someone else,” he said.
Wholesale Flooring Source’s grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, July 11 and a large amount of inventory will be on hand that day.
“We just want to build this location and I know the partners are considering opening another store somewhere in Boise similar to this,” Heeter said. “We’ve been having a lot of fun.”