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Sturdi Products headquarters, retail store coming to Manchester
MANCHESTER — A company that makes carriers, pop-up shelters, travel bags and other pet products is building their world headquarters in South Kitsap.
Once completed, it will be the home of Sturdi Products, Inc.
Sturdi was started in 1993 by Richard Van Engers and has become a leading producer of pet carriers and portable pop-up shelters for cats and toys to small-sized dogs. The company designs unique, attractive, durable and adaptable products that reflect the needs of customers who travel with cats and small dogs.
Penny Johnson, the company’s executive vice president, said they purchased the building three years ago and once it’s completed it will be a 9,000-square-foot facility that will include a garage and office.
She expects the construction to be completed in about a year.
“We first bought it as a warehouse because we need shipping facilities for our business,” said Johnson. “Then we found out from the permitting process that we couldn’t have a warehouse, we had to have a retail store.”
Johnson said there will be a retail store inside the “warehouse-like” building.
“We have a ton of inventory in lots of colors,” Johnson said. “It’s kind of like going to a shoe shop where you’ll see a sample, then we’ll go back and get what you need.”
She said it will be a unique shop for pets and people.
“We do make a few items for people,” Johnson said.
When the company first started, it was located in the Seattle area. Ten years ago, the company moved to the Key Peninsula.
Johnson said a realtor found the building in Manchester.
“Wow, what a gem,” said Johnson. “What a gem of a community with a wonderful view.”
She said there will be about 1,300 square feet of office space in the building and five people will work at the location.
Johnson said Manchester residents told her they recalled the building when it was a gas station. She said it was once a Superfund site that since has been cleaned up.
Johnson said the company does a lot of shipping through the post office.
“The post office is right cross our building,” she said. “It will help their stats. We are going to bring them lots of business.”
Johnson said the company has a “very good Internet business” and ships products from their Vietman factory to people from around the world.”
“Most of our business is in Europe, in places such as Germany and Finland,” she said. “We also ship to Russia and China. We have global market.”
Johnson said the company has five wholesalers in China.
“Cat fanciers around the world really love our products,” she added.
Johnson said Sturdi offers more than 40 unique, top quality and innovative pet products. Products are developed with a focus on pet travel, emergency preparedness planning and pet show exhibition.