Another business is expanding into Columbus and readying to set up shop in the new Parkway Plaza building.
Family-owned and Omaha-based All Makes Office Equipment Co. will open up next month in Suite 102 of the building at 4471 41st Ave. All Makes prides itself on providing office furniture, space planning and interior design services, as well as office machines, including photo copiers, printers and scanning equipment, for any budget. It will share the lower level with the previously announced Big Apple Bagels. It will also join fellow building tenants Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Premier Real Estate, Applied Connective Technologies and Charter Title & Escrow.
Now in its 101st year of business, the company was founded in 1918 by Harry Ferer as All Makes Typewriter Co. The business is owned by the same family today, however, has expanded beyond its Omaha headquarters by adding branches in Lincoln, Kearney and Des Moines, Iowa. It’s run today by brother and sister Jeff Kavich (president and CEO) and Amee Zetzman (executive vice president and CFO).
“We represent the fourth generation,” Kavich said, adding that he and his sister are “very lucky” to work so well together and carry on their family’s legacy.
Kavich and Zetzman said they had desired to open a fifth overall location and expand west of Omaha because they see communities out in this direction growing rapidly. Columbus happened to make sense for a few reasons.
First, one of their employees, Dan Eschliman, lives in Columbus, knows their products and felt there was a ton of potential. Kavich also has personal experience with the area. The family of his wife, Donna Kush, live in the likes of Columbus, Monroe, Duncan, Platte Center and Genoa, and they visit them regularly. That factored into their decision to bring the business to town.
“I think it’s a great community, a great town,” he said. “It seems most people in Columbus know almost everybody in town – it’s a nice, friendly city. We like to think we’re a friendly business and mix well with friendly people.”
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Parkway Plaza seemed like a logical fit for All Makes after the two had talks with one of the building’s owners, Renee Mueller, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Premier Real Estate broker/agent. Kavich said they really liked her vision.
“She seems very engaging and has a good feel for what’s happening in the area as far as growth,” he said. “So to be in the building with her, there’s great energy and partnership. We think there are a lot of great things to come that we can help her with and she can help us with.”
Added Zetzman: “It just seems like it’s the right spot to be in.”
Mueller said she has worked with All Makes before, including on some of the layout of her new Berkshire office. It was during talks about Berkshire’s office she began talking with Kavich about bringing All Makes to Columbus, noting the building’s construction was all done by local businesses and its other tenants are all local – something she takes pride in.
“It’s sort of my passion bringing businesses here, but also taking a part in helping them to be successful,” Mueller said. “They have a great history and are family-owned, that’s a big deal. So I am super excited.”
Mueller said she thinks All Makes can do well in the area, noting they already worked with other tenants in Parkway Plaza and have begun having conversations with other businesses in town.
All Makes will host a grand opening/ribbon-cutting ceremony for its Columbus location at 10 a.m. Oct. 29. That will be followed by an open house from 4-7 p.m. The public is invited to attend both events, though is asked to RSVP by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We want to grow our business as Columbus grows and become part of the community,” Zetzman said. “We just want people to come out and meet us. We are who we say we are. The best thing is we’re a family business but we sell great products at a great price.”
Matt Lindberg is the managing editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.