Several months of hard work for Andre Blanleil and his family have paid off, as the doors to Andre’s Electronic Experts in Salmon Arm have opened to the public. Not too far behind will come restaurants Popeyes Chicken, Freshii, BarBurrito and Pizza Pizza.
Blanleil said he doesn’t think anybody believed him when he and his brother started construction in the middle of July that the store would be open in November. But open it is.
The doors to the full-line electronics business swung open on Saturday, Nov. 12, with a grand opening coming probably in February or March. Some stock and displays are still on their way.
The owner of the small mall which is located at 2800 10th Ave. SW, the frontage road across the Trans-Canada Highway from SmartCentres, said he thinks Popeyes Chicken hopes to open before the end of the year.
“That’s probably the most-asked question I get in Salmon Arm,” said Blanleil. “’When is Popeyes opening?’ And I think they’re trying to get open before year end. That’s one of the things they’re working hard at right now, they’re there right now doing their inside work.”
Blanleil said he thinks Freshii, BarBurrito and Pizza Pizza are aiming for a March opening.
Blanleil is very much a hands-on business owner.
“I was probably there four or five days a week for the last three-and-a-half months. I’m like the general contractor and my brother is like my site foreman and a partner in the company that builds the buildings. My boys help where they can; it’s a family business and we basically build our own buildings.”
He expressed appreciation for the work of local contractors who did the plumbing, heating, roofing and more.
“They did a great job for us, hats off to them that we were able to get the building open as soon as we did.”
Blanleil said all the space they’ve built is now leased out except for 4,000 square feet next to Andre’s. He said it could be rented as one unit or as two 2,000 sq. ft. units.
Andre’s Electronic Experts in Salmon Arm is the 18th full-line electronics store the company has opened in B.C. Blanleil said traffic in the new store has been good already. Four staff have been hired with probably two more to go.
Andre’s also sells a full line of appliances.
Blanleil emphasized that his family business prides itself on being able to match the prices of any of the “big guys,” and having employees who have stayed with them for 10 to 30 years and know the products.
“Instead of going online or dealing with a big box store, deal with an independent person who knows what stuff is worth,” he said.
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