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Housewares opens to rave reviews

By Katelyn Gendron-List

Staff Writer

AGAWAM In the wake of big name retailers like Ames closing in Agawam, a new business has opened that will not only fill the void of any shoppers' houseware needs, but will also provide them with name-brand items at outlet prices.

Beyond Housewares conducted its grand opening on June 16, to rave reviews, even from the mayor himself.

"It's very exciting to have them in town," Richard Cohen, mayor of Agawam said. "I wish them well and I hope that everyone will go and buy something that they always wanted but didn't want to pay full price for."

According to Paula Knapp, owner of Beyond Housewares, she started a business of selling merchandise on e-Bay that she had bought from liquidation sales. With the success of her online business she decided to open a retail store in order to expose the local community to her various products.

"We've got everything from coffee pots to pizza stones and travel shavers," Knapp said. "We have good items at good prices and that's what we keep trying to stress. We're not charging for frills, it's just the best deals around."

Knapp went on to state that every week there are products on special that are offered at exceptionally low prices. This week's grand opening special includes 10 items at cost or below. The products include a Hoover vacuum for $29.76, a Toastmaster toaster oven for $9.94, and a Remington micro shaver for $11.76.

Not only is the store filled with numerous discounted items but they are also enhanced by a very friendly staff, according to Cohen.

"I have some really friendly, great people working here," Knapp said.

Susan Dandy, assistant manager of Beyond Housewares is one such employee, who clearly enjoys the customer interaction and overall friendly environment of the store.

"I love to talk to the customers," Dandy said. "I can talk to them about so many things and help them with the products. I take them out of the boxes and try them out for the customers if they want."

Dandy went on to state that she has a lot of experience with the products because her primary job with this company has been to inventory the products when they arrive at the warehouse in Feeding Hills.

"I've had to learn about the products because when they arrive I take the products out and learn about them, and test them out before they leave the warehouse," Dandy said. "The majority of inventory comes from Macy's and Bloomingdales in New York. I've seen the inventory and what they have, it's just unbelievable."

Not only does this store provide quality name brand items for their consumers but Dandy and Knapp also believe that this is a great store for those who are just starting out in their first apartment or even for those shopping for shower and wedding gifts.

Currently Beyond Housewares, which is located at 301 Springfield St., is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. According to Knapp, the store is closed on Sundays and Mondays but they will be expanding their hours after the summer.

When asked about the future of the retail store, Dandy was very optimistic by saying, "Where this store is in Agawam and what they are doing, they're going to handle business beautifully."

Cohen is also very encouraged about the future outlook for Beyond Housewares as he is always happy to have new businesses in Agawam because it is good not only for the economy but for the residents as well.

As for Cohen's own personal tastes in housewares he is thoroughly impressed with Beyond Housewares and encourages everyone to come and check out the store.

"I am sure that if someone goes in there once, they will again," Cohen said. "I know I will."