Trevor Vest has been repairing appliance for 18 years, starting about the time he was 18 years old.
Now, the Sussex Central graduate and his wife, Amy, a Cape High graduate, have decided to go beyond the repair business. The couple has opened Henlopen Appliance store and showroom, a residential appliance sales office in Five Points Square, behind the new Walgreens.
Promising personal service and discount values, Amy said she believes their small-town, independent business can thrive, especially with Trevor's many existing clients.
“He has such a good following and customer base in the service end; they want personal attention, and they trust his knowledge and experience,” Amy said.
The Vests acknowledge many major chain appliance stores seem to offer big discounts to get customers, but Amy warns consumers not to be fooled. Offering competitive prices and the expertise of a seasoned repair professional, she says Henlopen Appliance can offer more value per purchase.
“A lot of your independent dealers, the mom-and-pop stores, do have competitive pricing, and I think a lot of people think the larger retailers have better pricing,” Amy said. “That’s not necessarily the case."
"The new lifespan on appliances is only eight to 10 years, tops," Trevor said."When you’ve invested that amount of money in an appliance and something does go wrong, you just want to be saved. Is Lowe's going to save you? Is Home Depot?”
From his experience as a serviceman, Trevor said he knows which appliances are the best values, and he believes in brands he stocks at the store. Even with the shaky economy, the Vests are confident in their decision to open the business. Everyone needs working appliances, they say.
“Everybody’s got to have their refrigerator, and of course the ladies like their dishwashers,” Trevor said. “Everything is going to keep going up, and that’s what made me want to get into the business.”
But the Vests said they want their business to be about more than just selling. “It’s about the relationship; it’s not really just about the sale,” Amy said. “Service determines what we sell and don’t sell, because we pretty much service all major brands. After 18 years in service, he knows what is going to perform well.”
Servicing appliances across Sussex County, Henlopen Appliance can be contacted at 302.645.8930 or www.henlopenappliance.com. The showroom is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.