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2017 SBA Exporter of the Year – Kansas City District SBA Office

Olathe’s Custom Storefront, Inc. Starts Small Exports Big

Two basements and a storage shed are among their former small business sites, but 15 years later Jon and Camille Roberts house their small business in two Olathe, Kansas warehouses.  From these branded worksites 48 employees help them sell locally and export custom storefront branding materials to more than 16 countries. 

The Roberts, Custom Storefronts, Inc.’s owners and the company are being honored as the U.S. Small Business Administration Kansas City District Office’s Exporter of the Year.

The couple attributes their ability to move from basement to storefront and the new honor to their attention to detailed overseas shipping requirements, Kansas City shipping support and on-going help from the SBA-funded Johnson County Community College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC.). 

Custom Storefronts, Inc. designs and fabricates both wood and metal storefront systems for national roll-out programs and individual projects. Perhaps you have noticed a retail fitting room door or metal and glass entryway.  Have you noticed most branded retailers have the same “look”?  That’s what Custom Storefronts helps their customers achieve.

Employees create custom steel and aluminum entry doors, wood fitting room doors, accent metals and also complete millwork packages, partnering with their customer’s on design ideas. By now, an experienced project management and fabrication team can make almost any design a reality.

This detail work, and the fact that many multi-national companies often use the same vendors globally to develop their “look,” has helped the company gain a stable customer base and rising profit. Today, two large facilities are full of activity.

So when you enter that chain store, take note of its branded “look.” It could well be the creation of Custom Storefronts.  And, if you travel abroad, you can find the Roberts’ work in Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Guam, Lebanon, Egypt, England and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, Turkey, Russia, Panama, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Since the couple seeks continuing counseling help with their marketing, social media and web analysis from the JCCC SBDC, and has high regard for the shipping supply chain in the Kansas City area, expect the company to not only to become a Kansas City are fixture, but to thrive and grow into even more space in the coming years. As you might expect, their warehouses have that branded, custom storefront “look” of a winning company.