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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Great Lakes Countertops brings business to Le Mars

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sandi Berendes is the manager, designer and saleswoman at the new Great Lakes Countertops & Kitchens of Le Mars. The downtown business, which will officially open Nov. 29, is a second location of Great Lakes Countertops & Kitchens, in Lake Park.
Great Lakes Countertops & Kitchens of Le Mars offers customers a new store downtown for everything from countertops to cabinetry.

Sandi Berendes, manager, designer and sales at Great Lakes, said the business offers customers more than a product.

"We're multi-dimensional," she said. "We design, we warranty, we offer customer service, we go to the home."

It's important to get a feel for how each individual family lives as to what type of product will fit their needs, Berendes explained.

And when people visit the Great Lakes showroom at the downtown Le Mars business, they get an education on the products available, she said.

"You can look at something and say 'that's really pretty' but we want you to know what your getting," Berendes said. "Different products have different maintenance and different care."

People can buy countertops to cabinetry to flooring to lighting at the new business, which is a second location for Great Lakes Countertops & Kitchens, of Lake Park.

"Up at Lake Park there was a lot of business drifting there from down in this area," Berendes said. "They could really see there was a need for a business like this in the area."

The Danielson family, of the Iowa Great Lakes area, has owned Great Lakes Countertops & Kitchens since 2006.

The business has been open since 1992, only selling countertops until the Danielsons purchased it and expanded the product line, Berendes said.

She said the Danielsons chose Le Mars for a second location, not only to fill customer demand, but also because of its atmosphere.

"They agreed the family values of the community and surrounding communities very much match the values that are instilled within the community," Berendes said.

Renovations began in the Le Mars location this past April and are ongoing, with the business fully opening on Thursday, Nov. 29 with a ribbon cutting and open house.

Berendes explained that the Danielson's intent is to make Great Lakes Countertops & Kitchens of Le Mars a local business in every way.

Whether commercial, business or residential jobs, the plan is to find local contractors, installers, electricians, plumbers and flooring people to do the work, she said.

"I think in the beginning people thought the Lakes is coming here taking away our business, when it's the opposite," Berendes said.

She added that the Le Mars business also offers something other large stores don't always have -- great customer service.

"You can find a lot of really nice products out in the industry," Berendes said. "It's hard to find the customer service that goes with it."

She was asked by the Danielson family to manage the Le Mars Great Lakes location, and has since completed trainings to learn about the business' products, Berendes said.

"I always had the desire to design," she said. "I felt if I passed this up I may never get the opportunity again."

Even though Great Lakes Countertops & Kitchens of Le Mars is not fully open, she said it already has jobs going and the public response has been positive.

"The feedback that I'm getting is people are so thrilled there's something like this in Le Mars," Berendes said. "It's been really exciting."

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