Walk into Concrete Solutions on East Broadway, and the first thing you’ll see is a walkway with steps and columns leading to a wooden bridge over a waterfall and pond in which fish swim.
The display is one way that A. Jandris & sons Inc. is reaching out to new customers. Jandris, which has been operation for 85 years, opened the Concrete Solutions store in April partly as a way to promote the company’s products to a public that might otherwise not have realized the extent of its offerings.
Tim Crory, a Jandris representative who has been helping to get the store going, said that so far its customers have been an even mix of contractors and regular residents working on projects at their own homes. He said the store primarily targets contractors but can also help homeowners looking for materials, tools and ideas.
“A lot of people come in and say , I just have no idea what I want,” Crory Said.
To help out those customers, the store displays a variety of building materials of different effects. Besides concrete materials of different sizes and shapes, the store sells natural stone materials and other landscaping products, such as a web of stones held together with plastic that can be used to create a cobblestone walkway with little effort. Shovels, masonry tools, wheelbarrows and other tools are also available. The store even rents a few items, including a concrete mixer, a compactor and a tool for splitting bricks.
“We’re trying to be a little bit more of a one stop shop.” Crory said.
Besides a 6000-square-foot showroom, the store includes a large conference room that the company plans to use for various events.
On Wednesday, it will host a Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” get-together.
“It’s just a chance to get everyone in from the Chamber,” Crory said, adding that he has already seen new customers coming in thanks to the business’s connection with the group.
“I think word of mouth is probably the best advertising you can get anyhow,” he said.
During the fall the store will also host a series of seminars on products and techniques for landscaping and masonry. Some will be aimed at the contractors while others will be fro homeowners planning to take on new projects.
Crory said that he expects the market for the business to continue to grow as housing prices in the state continue to go up, and more people who work in Eastern Massachusetts and along the Route 495 corridor settle in the Gardner area.
“Everything’s still moving this way,” he said.