NORTH BEND -- In 2011, in a down economy, Englund Marine and Industrial Supply built a new store 70 percent bigger than its existing store.
'They showed their confidence in the future of our area and the fishing industry," emcee Clark Walworth said Saturday at Oregon Bay Area Chamber of Commerce's annual awards dinner at The Mill Casino-Hotel.
For this reason, and many more, Englund Marine and Industrial Supply is the 2011 business of the year, said Walworth, publisher and editor of The World.
The employees at Englund excel at customer service, he said.
'We get people from all over," salesman Mark Olsen said. 'They might buy something, they might not. If you take the time to explain the area, chances are they will come back."
Olsen said he takes time with every customer, answering questions about where to camp or eat, when the tide comes in or how to dig clams.
'It might seem like a mundane or everyday thing to us, but they don't know, they've never been to the ocean before," Olsen said.
The store's clientele also includes local fishermen and boaters, Olsen said. So, Englund hosts 'Safety Saturday," where vessel inspectors will conduct free boat inspections. The store also hosts free educational fishing seminars. And this year it hosted the first 'Wild Women of Charleston" fashion show.
Englund Marine opened in Charleston in 1978. It gives to such local charities and groups as the Clamboree, Oregon Tuna Classic, Coos County STEP program, the Boys & Girls Club, Charleston Crab Feed and the Seafood Festival.
The new Englund Marine and Industrial Supply store opened in April, Olsen said. The larger facility allowed the store to expand its sport tackle, clothing, commercial materials and tools for sale.
'We hope that our new store ... shows our commitment to the area and the economy," Olsen said.
Reporter Jessie Higgins can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 240, or jhiggins@ theworldlink.com.