PEMBROKE — Billy Brooks said the ribbon-cutting ceremony for his new furniture store “went very well,” but he wished one of his workers could have been there. Instead, the 9-year-old was at school.
“My grandson Jason Brooks … helps with whatever needs to be done,” Brooks said. “He’s just got the initiative.”
Brooks had his other co-workers with him as well as Mayor Milton Hunt and representatives of Pembroke Chamber of Commerce when he cut the ribbon on West Side Furniture, located at 404 W. Third St., on Thursday. Brooks said he opened his first location at 1610 W. Fifth St. in Lumberton seven years ago and decided to expand to Pembroke to accommodate his customers.
“We’ve got a lot of people coming from Pembroke,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of college students and people coming from Raeford and Red Springs.”
West Side sells artwork, appliances and furniture, including tables, chairs, bureaus and washing machines. Brooks said that “we specialize in antiques, but we can order anything.”
West Side’s artwork and antiques include paintings, a drawing of Jesus, a mini-jukebox and several American Indian statues, which Brooks’ co-worker Linda Locklear called unique. Brooks said “about 60 percent” of his pieces come from Washington, D.C., and New Jersey, where they were put in storage after being part of exhibits.
“They end up in a Jersey auction house and that’s where we get them,” Brooks said.
Kim Pevia, president of the Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce, said West Side’s arrival is important to Pembroke’s economy.
“I’m always so excited to see a new business opening on this corridor [of West 3rd Street] because as downtown goes, so the town goes,” she said.
Kimberly Woods, the chamber’s secretary, agreed with Pevia.
“It’s always great to hear about a new business opening in Pembroke for sure,” Woods said.
Hunt said he was glad to see Brooks expand his Lumberton business.
“I certainly hope Bill will make his second fortune over here,” he said.
West Side Furniture is open Mondays through Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, call 910-521-5718 or email email@example.com.
Brooks employs about four people at both locations.