Furniture store opens in former Sears location

By Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer February 16, 2011 02:53 pm

Matthew Clark is one of the owners of Clark and Company, a furniture store that recently opened in the retail space formerly occupied by Sears on Walton Road in Island City. Clark and partner Brian Olson moved the business from downtown Baker City. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / The Observer
Matthew Clark is one of the owners of Clark and Company, a furniture store that recently opened in the retail space formerly occupied by Sears on Walton Road in Island City. Clark and partner Brian Olson moved the business from downtown Baker City. BILL RAUTENSTRAUCH / The Observer

A Baker City furniture store has relocated to Island City, setting up near one of Union County’s busiest retail intersections.

Three weeks ago, Clark and Company opened for business in the building on Walton Road formerly occupied by Sears.

The store sits across from the Walmart shopping complex on the corner of Walton Road and Island Avenue. According to Matthew Clark, it’s a good place to be.

“The space here opened up and we decided it was a good opportunity for us to move to a bigger town and a better location,” Clark said.

Clark and his business partner, Brian Olson, opened Clark and Company in downtown Baker City in May 2008, building a clientele despite the growing recession.

The two men were friends with Beverly Calder, the owner of Bella Main Street Market in Baker City. Last year, Calder made a decision to open a second store in La Grande. She is part of the reason Clark and Olson decided to re-locate.

“Beverly encouraged us to make the move. She said business is pretty good here,” Clark said. “We’re very pleased with the traffic we’ve had so far.”

He said moving the business from the brick building at the corner of First and Broadway in Baker City to the new location was quite a chore.

“We made at least 12 trips. We know that drive between Baker City and La Grande very well by now,” he said.

Clark and Company deals in furniture ranging from beds, sofas and recliners, to kitchen sets, coffee tables and nightstands, and more. The product line incudes art and home decor items as well.

Though some items are imported, the showroom also features work from local artists and crafts people. Those include woodworker Jason Hanson, painter Don Gray, painter and ceramic artist Terry Axness, textile artist Calesta Markgraf and others.

“We try to keep an eclectic mix, and carry better quality things at reasonable prices,” said Clark. “People definitely know what they’re paying for things these days. They do a lot of comparison shopping on the Internet.”

Though the owners have the showroom set up to their satisfaction, there is still some work to be done on the building’s exterior.

As of Monday, the Sears sign was still up out in front. Clark said that’s going to change soon.

“The signage hasn’t caught up with us yet. We should have it done by the end of this month,” he said.

Clark and Company, 10601 S. Walton Road, is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

The phone number is 541-605-0222.