One of the region’s largest appliance retailers is getting bigger.
Art Ashworth and his family are expanding their appliance, electronics and mattress business in Pease with a 7,200-square-foot addition to the former Kiel’s Appliance building.
Ashworth Appliance and Electronics purchased Kiel’s Appliance earlier this year.
The addition will be to the south of the existing building, according to Art Ashworth. Ashworth’s will be close to 12,000 square feet when Princeton-based RW Builders completes the building. The new facility is expected to open toward the end of September, Ashworth said.
But the news of the Pease expansion isn’t good news for Princeton.
Ashworth’s will close its Princeton store when the store opens in the new addition in September, Ashworth said.
“Ashworth’s is not going out of business and is not liquidating,” Art Ashworth said.
He stresses to his Princeton customers that the same Ashworth’s service they have received for years at its north mall location will be found 10 miles north on Highway 169 in Pease.
There will be no changes at the company’s flagship store in Mora.
The expansion is made possible because of a land donation by the city of Pease.
At a ceremonial groundbreaking on the afternoon of July 5, Pease Mayor Diane Kiel welcomed the Ashworth family to Pease.
“Art, welcome to Pease, and thank you for taking on this venture,” said Kiel, who was not involved in the Kiel’s Appliance business.
Kiel noted that Pease has been working hard to attract economic development to the city of about 250 people.
“The last few years we’ve had some doors shut on us,” Kiel said.
“But the best one came through,” she said, referencing the Ashworth’s expansion.
Art Ashworth, flanked by his wife, Debra, and children, Brian and Angie, said he has felt welcome in Pease since the day he purchased Kiel’s Appliance.
“I feel like I have lived here all my life,” Ashworth said.
He noted how people in town welcomed his family by bring them pies and cookies. Following the groundbreaking, people gathered at Mayor Kiel’s home and visited under a big shade tree surrounded by a picket fence. Lemonade was served, as well as pastries baked by the mayor herself.
“It’s amazing,” Ashworth said.
Ashworth said his dream was coming together thanks to the banks, builders, and Ashworth’s and Kiel’s customers.
“Thank you for believing in us,” he said.
Ashworth also thanked the members of the Pease City Council.
“I thank the board for agreeing to work with us,” he said.
Pease’s willingness to work with Ashworth’s was, in part, because Kiel’s Appliance was a staple in the community for “years and years and years,” Art Ashworth said.
“We will carry on the same tradition and continue to support the community,” he said.
Already, Ashworth has been instrumental in erecting signage on Highway 169 and County Road 8 advertising the Pease businesses. The Ashworths also erected signage in town that directs visitors to downtown Pease and three of its businesses.