Looking for a storefront to showcase their inventory, brothers Richard and Stacy Underwood recently opened a second location of Underwood Restaurant and Store Equipment on Zetterower Avenue in Statesboro.
"Our dad Harold opened the original location on Highway 80 in Brooklet in 1990," Stacy Underwood said. "I worked for him from 1993 through 1996 before opening Uncle Shug's Chicken Barn on West Main Street. When my father retired in 2010, my brother Richard and I took over the business."
The brothers were looking for a Statesboro site for a number of months when the former location of Press Express, next to the Prescription Shop, became available."
"It is just a perfect spot," Richard Underwood said. "The traffic on Zetterower is tremendous as it is a really, busy thoroughfare. The windows on the front of the store are great. It is very easy to look in, and see all that we have to offer. These windows are like a calling card."
The inventory in the 3,000-square-foot store is extensive with everything from cookware, to cook's tools, cutlery, bake ware, glassware, and equipment. According to Richard Underwood, they can supply everything that you need whether you are someone who likes cooking at home, either inside or out, or someone who owns a restaurant.
"Every time I go in there, I find something that I didn't realize I needed," said Randy Nessmith, owner of RJ's Seafood and Steaks in Statesboro. "I bought from Stacy and Richard's dad before he retired. We are very fortunate to have a supply company like it here. It is so convenient, and they are wonderful to work with."
Richard Underwood said the majority of the company's business is supplying convenience stores.
"From the cooking equipment in the deli, to shelving, and glass doors on coolers, we provide it all," he said. "We stand behind the products that we sell, and what to be as responsive as we possibly can to our customers, so we limit the radius that we sell within to two hours from Statesboro. That keeps me pretty busy, and I am on the road most of the time."
Underwood's has been a supplier to Dublin-based Friendly Gus convenience stores for the last 15 years. Owner Guy Cochran is very complimentary of the Underwood's operation.
"The Underwoods are just super folks," Cochran said. "They are prompt, professional, service what they sell, and stand behind their products. They are the definition of service."
According to Underwood, the Zetterower store is the only one like it between Savannah and Macon.
"There are not many stores like this one with an inventory this extensive," he said. "We want people to come in and look, to see what we have. If you love to cook, you will love this store. You certainly don't have to own a restaurant or a convenience store to shop here. It really is fun, if you love to cook or know someone who does."
Richard Underwood's wife Amy serves as the store manager in Statesboro.
"The amount of walk-in traffic that we are getting is amazing," she said. "When you see the display of pots in the window, it really peaks your curiosity. A lot of what we have is very colorful, and I think that is surprising to folks."