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Canton boasts home improvement reuse store

Located at 1387 Clarendon Ave. S.W., just minutes from Akron, The Stock Pile opened its doors in 1998, offering homeowners used household and construction items like doors, windows and paint at rock bottom prices. Pictured here is program manager Patrick Gerber. (Photo courtesy of The Stock Pile).

SHERRY KARABIN
Legal News Reporter

Published: March 25, 2014

When looking for slightly used clothing people might stop by a flea market, consignment or a thrift shop. But what if they want to remodel their home or just spruce it up?

One Canton business is designed to help residents fulfill these requests, offering homeowners used household and construction items like doors, windows and paint. It’s called The Stock Pile and it’s the biggest home improvement reuse store in the city.

Located at 1387 Clarendon Ave. S.W., just minutes from Akron, the nonprofit business opened its doors in 1998.

Brenda Sarsany chief of planning at the Stark County Regional Planning Commission came up with the concept for the company.

“I had read about The Loading Dock in Baltimore (nonprofit building materials reuse center),” said Sarsany. “The commission does housing rehabilitation in Stark County and at the time we were running its recycling program so having a ‘loading dock’ of our own seemed like a natural fit.”

She said the commission created a nonprofit entity, Stark County Regional Planning Commission Services Inc. doing business as The Stock Pile, which it continues to oversee today.

“We see it as serving a dual role,” said Sarsany. “People need to fix up their homes and are able to get supplies at a fraction of the cost at the store. It also helps the region cut down on the material it sends to the landfill.”

For the past two years, Patrick Gerber has served as program manager for The Stock Pile.

“Our goal is to reduce waste in the community and make building materials available at super low prices,” said Gerber.

The store relies heavily on donations from businesses like Lowe’s and Sherwin-Williams as well as local companies, contractors and individuals.

Dennis Redovian, the owner of Redovian Cabinet Gallery in North Canton, has been supplying the store with kitchen sinks, faucets, cabinets and even stoves and dishwashers for about 10 years.

“A representative from the store came by one day and told us what they do,” said Redovian. “I thought it was a good way to use our discarded materials. It helps those less fortunate get decent products for very little money, and if we want we can get a tax write off.

“What’s nice about it is that I call them when I have stuff and the next day they come by and pick it up. I tell people all the time if you want to get rid of things call The Stock Pile.”

Driver pickup is also available to individual donors. While donations are key to the business the “deconstruction” arm is a major part of the operation as well.

Gerber said the company offers free services to businesses and homeowners interested in “partial deconstruction.” He said the service is a direct way “to save reusable materials and enable the parties involved to reduce costs.

“We will remove cabinets, doors, or windows but not framing and structural elements,” said Gerber. “We may offer full deconstruction in the future.”

While the work is free for the donor homeowner or business it does cost The Stock Pile about $250 in labor and donations toward their efforts are accepted.

The company is currently working with the Comfort Inn in Dover at the Sugarcreek exit, which is remodeling 52 rooms. “We expect to have a lot of furniture and carpet coming in,” said Gerber.

All items are showcased at the 25,000-square-foot warehouse, which is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We always have a big selection of doors, windows, paint and siding,” said Gerber. “We have more indoor doors than exterior ones but we also have some sliding glass and screen doors.”

The average price for a hollow core interior door is $12, he said, with a sliding glass door ranging from $40 to $60.

Although anyone can purchase an item from The Stock Pile, Gerber said extra discounts are offered to seniors, the disabled and low- to moderate-income families.

“Our goal is to serve these groups because they are the groups that can really benefit from low-income home improvement supplies,” said Gerber. “For these target demographics The Stock Pile offers free memberships that save qualifying customers 20 percent off everything in the store everyday. On the second Thursday of every month we also offer non-members 10 percent off.”

As for the most unusual item the store has ever received, Sarsany said it was a gourd made into a teapot. “It was quite fancy,” she said.

The Stock Pile was among a handful of businesses featured in Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s January Business profiles, which had a “New Uses” for old and used items theme.

“Recyling and reclamation are important industries for Ohio,” said Husted. “It strengthens our economy and employs many hardworking Ohioans.

“Some businesses emerge from an idea, while others are formed out of necessity,” Husted said. “The Stock Pile is filling a need by helping families in need and in doing so they are strengthening the local economy.”

Gerber said he hopes the publicity helps to spread the word about The Stock Pile. “We have been the best kept secret in Canton but we don’t want to be.”

In recent years part of his job has been to increase membership and donations, efforts that he said are working. There are now over 1,000 members.

Gerber is the only full-time employee at The Stock Pile. There are six other part-time workers including the driver who picks up donations. In addition, there are many volunteers.

Sarsany said she and Gerber just completed writing a grant that would fund worker training in the area of deconstruction.

“This would allow us to bring on more employees and add a lot more materials in the store. At the moment we are ‘cherry picking’ and taking the materials that can be easily removed,” said Sarsany.

The company is currently scheduling partial deconstruction projects for the spring. “If you are thinking about remodeling why not let The Stock Pile do your deconstruction so your old materials can go toward improving someone else’s home,” Gerber said.

To schedule an appointment or check out the products go to www.thestockpile.org


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