Where did you grow up?
Mike grew up in the Denver metro area from the age of 3, Colette from 13. Colette moved to Denver from upper state New York. Mike used to spend much of his summers at the Rifle fish hatchery from age 10 to 16.
How did you get started in the appliance industry?
I had left the cellular industry and went to Circuit City to get (I believed) a job selling cameras as photography was a hobby of mine. The manager on duty was the appliance department manager and he encouraged me to work in appliances and hired me on the spot. From there, Eagle Hardware recruited me and Lowe’s purchased Eagle Hardware. All the time I worked in appliances. When Lowe’s announced a store for Grand Junction I requested a transfer. After two years with Lowe’s in Grand Junction I decided to go with an independent dealer, from there Colette and I ended up owning BCAD Appliances about three years ago. I have been in the same location selling appliances for eight years. While our main customer is the builder, we sell to everyone at builder pricing.
How has the industry changed since you got started?
E-Star came into being for appliances and it caused many advances in the energy and water usage in dishwashers, refrigeration and washers. Consumers have also demanded more on the “more/bigger is better,” consequently you see 29-cubic-foot to 31-cubic-foot refrigerators and stoves with five burners that usually won’t hold five pans. Ovens so large that people now complain there is no place for pans in the drawers below. Warranties are not as long as they used to be either. Lastly, there are many more choices than ever before.
What should consumers look for in their appliance selections?
My big thing, the thing our company is based on, is to purchase from a company that supports the American worker. Our core brands are all part of the Whirlpool Corp., they include Amana, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, Maytag and Whirlpool. These are my core brands because over 80 percent of their products are manufactured in the U.S.A. Whirlpool Corp. employs over 22,000 Americans in the appliance industry, more than the rest of the appliance manufacturers combined. Whirlpool Corp. builds excellent products and since it has been around for over 100 years, they have it figured out. A person should not skimp on their appliances — they typically use them one to three times a day, every day. They should have features that they will use or are willing to learn to use. While it is not code, I would recommend that everyone should have a vent over their cooking surface that vents to the outside. This way if you burn something or cook something that is particularly smelly, it doesn’t stay all day.
Is there a specific brand of appliance you consider your specialty?
We sell more Whirlpool than anything else to the builders and KitchenAid to individuals that are having a home built or remodeling their home. KitchenAid is the premium version of Whirlpool with some increased warranties and additional features.
What do you enjoy when you’re not working?
Both Colette and I like to garden, cook, can what we grow and quilt. We also enjoy our pet rabbit, Dust Buster.
What do you enjoy about living in western Colorado?
We love the open spaces and the quiet. I have to chuckle when I hear people talk about the long drive from downtown Grand Junction to Clifton. I used to drive 25 miles one way to work but traffic made it hour in morning and two hours in evening. There is always something to discover, visit, or taste in the West.
What do you see as up-and-coming trends in the appliance industry.
Products are becoming more popular that assist in doing more things quicker. Cooking on induction cook tops that are faster and more efficient, washing clothes in larger washers that use less water, energy and soap and dishwashers that use such a little amount of water it is almost “dry cleaning.”
Looking for help improving your home? Call the HBA of Northwestern Colorado at (970) 245-0253 or visit http://www.hbanwco.com