Tahlequah Daily Press

December 12, 2012

New businesses focus on customer service

By ROB W. ANDERSON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Businesses aimed at providing high-quality products or services, with a philosophy of customer service not available in the major chain industry, are finding their way to Tahlequah.

Knowing what patrons are looking for is the goal of four new businesses that have been in operation for a couple of months. Trigger Happy Tactics, 110 W. Allen Road, which opened in late September, offers items for people interested in target shooting or hunting, said owner-operator Chris Bond.

“We sell new and used firearms, accessories, tactical gear, holsters, and ammunition. We have a lot of subcompact pistols and your regular size [handguns for open or concealed carry permit holders],” he said. “We do special orders. The only thing we ask on that is 30 percent down. Right now, it’s taking us about a week to get things. Usually, after the holiday season, it’ll be a matter of days. As long as it’s in stock, we can order it, but if it’s not in stock, we’ll tell you right up front.”

Bond’s gun shop is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday,  9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Trigger Happy Tactics will also help customers sell used weaponry, such as compound bows. Some camping products, like freeze dried meals, are also available.

“We do consignments,” said Bond. “We can also order bows and crossbows.”

For more information, call (918) 431-1924 or visit the website at www.TriggerHappyTactics.com or on Facebook by searching Trigger Happy Tactics of Tahlequah.

Al Soto knows coffee and has been sharing his brew methods through his 911 Espresso drive-through location on South Muskogee Avenue for customers on the go. For anyone looking to sit down and enjoy a specialty cup of coffee, Soto opened Drip: The Beverage Lab, 403 N. Muskogee Ave., about a month ago in the North End District of Tahlequah.

The owner-operator wants to provide customers with a premium product at an affordable price. Business hours are Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 7 p.m. to midnight; and Saturday, 8 p.m. to midnight.

“We’re not the McDonald’s of coffee, as you can tell by our prices. We’re probably $1.50 more than McDonald’s. It’s about quality, not quantity, and Tahlequah has a market for that,” Soto said. “People want affordable, but higher quality. On Friday, we had a $7 cup of coffee, and people bought it. So that’s kind of our goal. We want people to respect the coffee.”

In February, Soto provided a sort of coffee seminar at the local library to provide information most people are unaware of. The beans, which are provided by Tulsa-based Topeca, aren’t magic, he says, and Soto’s seminar showed how brew methods like pour-over, chemex or French press impact the taste of a black cup of Joe.

“We sell single-origin coffees. I don’t do blends. The whole point about it is so you can start to differentiate origin, variety – just drinking the coffee for the coffee itself. Drink it black and just savor the coffee for what it is,” Soto said. “That’s why we call ourselves the ‘beverage lab.’ We really focus on brew methods. We focus on the bean, and how it’s brewed. In fact, we’ll be doing cupping classes here, and also teach our drinkers how coffee changes from origin to origin.”

To learn about what arrives in your coffee mug, call (918) 708-1930 or search Drip The Beverage Lab on Facebook.

Bill’s Auto Sales, 6909 S. Muskogee Ave., originated in Stilwell, and now has a location just south of the intersection of U.S. Highway 62 and State Highway 82. Owner Amy Helm said the Tahlequah used-vehicles location has been open since November, and local customers can expect her husband, Jason, to meet customer need.

“We’re buy here, pay here and offer used cars, trucks, SUVs - foreign and domestic,” she said. “We do offer a service contract that’s available for people if anything goes wrong with the vehicle. [Jason] fixes anything. It’s a used vehicle, so we take a risk when we purchase it. We’re not a high-pressure sales lot. If the customer likes it, [he or she] will buy the vehicle.”

Helm said the lot is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday,  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We have a full-time mechanic who works for us,” she said. “We’ve got a service shop. We’re wanting to keep the customer. We don’t do credit checks. That’s something a lot of people worry about.”

Interested customers can call (918) 458-0700.

Folks who enjoy seasonal food that can only be found at a state fair now have Purkey’s Funnel Cake Factory to curb their deep-fried Snickers or chicken on stick craving. The concession trailer is at the intersection of Downing and Bertha Parker Bypass Thursday through Saturday, noon to 9 or 10 p.m., said owner-operator Diane Purkey.

“If it gets really cold, we don’t have heat. We’re working on that,” she said. “[The location is] temporary right now. There’s a lot of stuff up in the air. It’s just kind of a trial run to see how it goes.”

Purkey said her stand provides funnel cakes, handmade foot-long corn dogs, deep-fried Snickers, chicken on stick, curly fries, and fried cheese on a stick.

“We have 16 toppings for funnel cakes. [Some include] caramel, apple, cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, chocolate, Bavarian cream, peach, maple, a glaze and then what we call a birthday cake, which is a glaze with sprinkles on it,” she said.

For more information, call (918) 931-7367 or search Purkey’s Funnel Cake Factory on Facebook.