After traveling around U.S. family decides La Grande is place to locate their SIGN business

August 01, 2001 11:00 pm
FINISHING TOUCHES: Sharon Paddock works on a sign at Paddock Sign Co.'s shop at 2707 Bearco Loop in La Grande. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).
FINISHING TOUCHES: Sharon Paddock works on a sign at Paddock Sign Co.'s shop at 2707 Bearco Loop in La Grande. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

Have you been able to locate Western Sprinkler, Island City Auto Brokers, Country Chick, Margarets Farmacy, Bearco Business Park, Kindly Cuts?

If so, youve probably found them via their new signs, among those in the area produced by Paddock Sign Co. since it opened at 2707 Bearco Loop about two months ago.

We use lots of colors and try to make the signs really attractive, said Dave Paddock. He and his wife, Sharon, own the business. Their daughter, Christine, is the secretary. They have no immediate plans to add employees.

Beside the front office, there is a spacious room where the Paddocks design and paint all their signs.

We want our signs to attract attention, but we also make them to last, he said.

The family was situated in North Bend, near Coos Bay, but the economy went down the tubes and they began scouting out a new place to locate, Paddock said.

The economy was the main reason we left and we had to travel too far to get work outside the area, he said.

We traveled around the U.S. to see where we wanted to relocate. La Grande was a centrally located spot for what we wanted to do, he said. We can sell outside the immediate area without having to drive forever. And this is a beautiful area. The people are nice and it doesnt rain as much as it does on the coast.

When the family first came to the area a few months ago, they ran the business out of their home garage in Cove. Now they live in La Grande.

Paddock still will drive to get jobs.

I have been as far as Bend and Sisters, the Tri-Cities, most of Oregon. I just did two jobs in Joseph. I have done jobs in John Day and Pendleton and in Hermiston, he said.

And, of course, the company has done quite a few in La Grande.

All our signs are hand-crafted, high quality. Theyre all hand-made. We dont do computer-aided work. We try to put out a superior product from the board, primer coat and clear-coat finish, he said. The clear coating makes for a better product.

We want our product to last for years and years. Were out to please the client and produce a quality product.

Theres no limit to the size of the sign he can produce, he said. He did one that was 8 feet by 48, bigger than a billboard, for a Charleston firm.

The company produced a 6-foot-by-12-foot sign for the Valley Bronze gallery in Joseph.

As for the time it takes to get a sign ready for a client, that depends.

I tell people quality takes time. We really put a lot of time into each sign. I have to be 100 percent happy with it. I feel we have to treat our customers with respect if were going to build a really strong clientele base, Paddock said.

He said the companys prices are fair for what we do. If we have any competitors, were not selling the same product. Im selling signs created by Paddock Sign Co. We go after quality.

He said his sales are mostly made via cold calls and some word of mouth although he does plan to get into advertising in various media. Its nice that people can see his location and his sign from Island Avenue, he said.

Weve had several walk-ins, he said.

The phone number is 975-1486. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.