EVERETT — Minutes after the new Judd & Black Appliance flagship store opened Friday, company President Bob Long was ringing up the first sale — a dishwasher for longtime customer Mel Anderson.
Judd & Black fulfilled its promise Friday and cut the ribbon on a new flagship store at 510 SW Everett Mall Way.
Members of the Long family, which has owned and operated the appliance chain for three generations, and local officials, including Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin, attended the ceremony.
In late September, a massive fire destroyed the retailer’s flagship store at 3001 Hewitt Ave.
“We’re very pleased to be back in business. It’s been a long time not being able to do what we do,” said Long as he took a breather in the store’s customer lounge.
The new 17,000-square-foot Judd & Black venue on Everett Mall Way, which formerly housed a Circuit City store, is almost twice as large as the store on Hewitt.
It employs more than 30 people, 20 percent more than the store that was destroyed, Long said.
Chad Kvangnes, who joined the company 20 years ago, took a moment to wipe away tears when asked about his new digs.
“It feels like I’m home,” Kvangnes said.
For the last six months, he’s shuttled from one Judd & Black store to another. The local chain operates outlets in Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties.
In the first 30 minutes, Kvangnes had rung up two dishwashers and a refrigerator.
Kvangnes said he was was one of the last people to leave the Hewitt store before it caught fire. “I knew they’d re-open,” he said.
Said Long, “Our first store opened in Everett in 1940 and we had been at 3001 Hewitt since 1962.”
Jim Hickey who’s been shopping at Judd & Black for “close to 50 years,” said he was “terribly shocked” when the original store went up in flames.
The Everett resident stopped in Friday to celebrate the grand opening. More than 100 customers streamed into the store.
“I’m really glad to see they’re re-opening in Everett,” Hickey said.
“It’s been a long six months,” said Cory Long, the company’s vice president and Bob Long’s brother. The new location, he said, “is a candy store for people who need appliances.”
The new Everett store includes three more appliance lines, a customer lounge, easier access and more parking.
“We’re also expanding our weekday closing hour to 7 p.m. to make it easier for guests to visit us,” Bob Long said.
Investigators determined that arson was the cause of the three-alarm fire on Sept. 21, 2018. Damage has been estimated at $3.5 million.
Its main piece, the Bast Building, opened in 1892, a year before the city was founded. It housed a dentist’s office in the 1890s; later, it was home to a saloon, a motorcycle shop, a hardware store and hotels before Judd & Black moved in 57 years ago.
Police haven’t said what led them to conclude an arsonist sparked the fire — only that it appeared to have started outside the building on a Friday night. No one has been charged with the crime. The future of the Hewitt Avenue site has not been determined.
“We are very appreciative of the support we’ve received from city staff, contractors and suppliers that enabled us to reopen so quickly,” Long said. The retailer provides sales, delivery, installation and service for 25 appliance and barbecue brands.
The new Everett store will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.