The faucets on display all turned on, and the stove tops definitely worked, proven by a chef Saturday cooking up fresh lunches for shoppers at the new “Living” Appliance Center in Sylvania.
Staff and company leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the morning for the third Appliance Center store, located at 5656 Monroe St., and dozens of shoppers waited outside in drenching rain to get a first glimpse of its interactive display room. Those that came were impressed.
Mark Clark, left, shows customer Michelle Freeman a refrigerator.
Shirley Johnston said she turned out because she’s looking for a new television, but found herself learning against a counter eating the spinach and leeks, braised potatoes, and strip steak served up to customers.
“It’s clean, neat, and easy to find what you are looking for,” she said.
John Oswald, Appliance Center’s co-owner, said the company spent years searching for a new location to join its two Maumee stores, and learned they had to be farther away than they first realized. His late father, Chuck Oswald, briefly had a store nearby on Monroe Street.
“This is kind of the resurrection of that old location,” Mr. Oswald said.
Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough and daughter Lyndsey Stough worked as architects for the building renovation, and said the long vacant structure was totally redone. The exterior was doubled in height on the Monroe Street side to add curb appeal. Work on the store took about a year.
A crowd enters the front door after waiting in the rain for the grand opening of "Living" Appliance Center at 5656 Monroe St. in Sylvania.
“This takes a long unused building and puts it right back in the forefront,” Mr. Stough said.
He also said the new store adds jobs and gives Sylvania consumers a closer location to shop, and he heralded the work the Oswald family does in the community.
Mr. Oswald said the goal of the new store was for it to be an interactive experience for customers. Many of the appliances on display are functional, allowing perspective buyers to test them out. At kitchen displays, tablet computers are available for customers to change colors and arrangements, so they can visualize their custom design and also price it out.
“When we buy cars, we test them out,” he said.
Jazzee Jarrett, who said she lives nearby, said she’s happy to have an Appliance Center closer to her home. She said she loved the accessories available in the store, and how the floor plan was arranged. And also the food.
“I didn’t even know they were serving,” she said.
Appliance Center isn’t done expanding. Mr. Oswald said a fourth location will be announced next year.