Business

Mutual Materials moves to PO

Port Orchard is the site of a new business that aims to target those in need of contractor supplies.

Mutual Materials, located at 1515 Vivian Court, is part of a chain of stores that boasts a selection of masonry and hardscaping products.

The Port Orchard location serves Kitsap area residents in place of the Bremerton store, which will close when the Vivian Court store opens.

“We’re going to shoot for the 12th of November,” said Brian Cote, Mutual Materials Branch Operations Manager for Western Washington. “Port Orchard is nicely located and very close to where we were before.”

The 2,000-plus square foot building rests on a two acre site that “will probably double” with the addition of an outdoor display area. The hardscape display will show the different types of work that can be created with using Mutual Materials products.

“The building itself should express that there is a great deal of choice when it comes to color and texture, as well as size,” said Cote. “It’ll express what can be done and the actual colors as they show up in application.”

Inventory includes bricks (all of which are made of clay), pavers, and a multitude of items for masonry and hardscaping.

According to Brian Cote, masonry work entails laying things up (such as walls, fireplaces and chimneys) with use of clay and concrete. Hardscaping encompasses slightly different materials and focuses on horizontal laying (as with patios and driveways).

“We’re primarily a contractor-driven business,” said Cote, “although more and more we’ll use that site as an opportunity to show people what’s available.”

An intriguing facet of the Port Orchard Mutual Materials is that the store’s lot was mechanically installed. The technique of mechanical installation is defined as a new paving trend (using segmented pavers) that saves money on paving projects, and is a key service feature of the store.

“Obviously, we’d like to turn it into a trend,” said Cote. “Our material works and it gives us an opportunity to show off how the material works. Overall, we expect it to outperform any asphalt or concrete that would be laid in its place.”

Mutual Materials, which has its headquarters in Bellevue, is a family-owned business that began 102 years ago and has 14 branches throughout Washington and Oregon. The company operates three brick plants (in Newcastle and Mica in Washington and in Columbia, Ore.), four concrete block plants (located in Lakewood, Kent, Tumwater, and Empire), and a paver plant in Lacey.

The Port Orchard location projects a grand opening for 2002, and will have between four and six employees.

“We did a number of economic studies to permit us to go forward,” said Brian Cote. “We’re investing in the Peninsula because we think there will be significant growth. We want to be positioned to serve that.”

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