No advertising, no matter. Business is brisk at The Epicenter
Story Published: Jun 13, 2007 at 5:56 PM PDT
By Tom Adams
How many local businesses have the Homeland Security Department, the U.S. Navy and the CIA as customers? That's the case for a most unique operation in West Eugene.
We take you on a tour of "The Epicenter."
The worse the news, the better the business at The Epicenter.
Don't bother looking for them in the phone book. The Epicenter doesn't advertise. But business is brisk for company founder, Bryan Nelson.
Nelson credits the company website for generating good interest and adds, "It's amazing, the Internet has a way to just kind of level the playing field."
He started the business in Seattle in 1995 (after being laid off from Boeing) and moved to Eugene four years later. Call it a survival smorgasbord.
The warehouse is stocked with ready to eat meals, chemical light sticks, military can openers, even the special bags to heat your meals or MRE's.
On today's menu, and getting the taste-test from reporter Tom Adams, is the beef enchilada entree. It passes the test.
Nelson says they must be filling a need, given their extensive customer list. "We just sent a bunch of stuff to the CIA, sent some stuff to the navy yesterday, but also a lot of individual customers, many campers," explains Nelson.
Hurricane season also signals a busy time. Employee John Shipe tells KVAL, "Chances are the stuff you see unloading off the trucks may have come from here. We took the order over the phone."
The self described "go to" guy is Scott Headrick, who says, "I learn the software and try to learn the new programs in and out, and find ways of making things go faster."
When the main business day is over, Headrick and Shipe turn to more creative endeavors. Both are rock musicians and have recorded CDs
in a studio they've set up in the warehouse. Nelson often serves as the recording engineer.
Sales topped $1-million last year, and the crew is expecting 2007 to be even better for The Epicenter, weather permitting in hurricane country.
Be sure to check out the video!