Franklin Monument Co. announced its move from where the business got its start at 30 Benedict Ave. about 15 years ago. The memorial business is now located at 39 Woodlawn Ave.
The old Benedict location is available for rent or purchase and a grand re-opening is planned for the new location sometime in October, to be announced later.
Owner Kevin Hipp said the move “made sense” and will make it easier for customers to examine all they have to offer.
“An opportunity came forward with a bigger building with one floor, so we took it,” Hipp said. “Parking was forever a challenge and now we have out own parking lot. And with everything on one floor, both display area, which is a larger area, as well as our work area and what I call our yard — which is where we keep our storage — it’s nice. We’re all in one area.”
Hipp said the Woodlawn location about tripled the business’ space, which will allow it to continue to grow.
Franklin Monuments offers “first and foremost, a way to memorialize loved ones with a cemetery monument,” as well as pet markers, bereavement gifts, concrete statuary and plaques and plans to add wind chimes in the near future.
“We were a little slow as the (recession hit until) 2010 but we held our own but we’ve always been positive,” he said.
“It’s just one of those things. The community have been good to us. We’ve, in turn, been good to them. We’ve done the veteran’s memorial, firemen’s and policemen’s memorials, which are all out on Shady Lane. ... We’ve given back to the community by doing those and other projects.”
As times change, Franklin Monument has striven to change with them to remain relevant.
“Even with cremation advancing as it is, our industry has changed,” Hipp said.
“We have some of the memorials where you can have your remains placed within a monument. We’ve also expanded into some cremation parks with columbarium. ... Back in the early 1900s cemeteries would build large public mausoleums and have 100 to 200 people in them and now they’re full and just have maintenance performed on them basically. A columbarium has 100 to 200 remains in it, but it take up the size of one or two graves. We’ve built some and have some on the drawing board.”
Hours too have expanded with the new location. Franklin Monument is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 9 am. to 7 p.m. Tuesday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. The business is also available on the weekend and outside of normal business hours by appointment, where Hipp said they can meet in the comfort of a customer’s home or at the store to examine color renditions of what the stone will like once it’s created.
In other business happenings...
Vehicle sales staying strong
New vehicle sales continued at a brisk clip in August, keeping pace with the strong volume seen throughout 201. According to figures released by the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association (GCADA), the new vehicle market was off slightly in the month, with dealers selling 23,343 units in August of 2018 compared to 23,698 vehicles in the same time last year, a decrease of 1.5 percent. For the year to date, new vehicle sales are off 0.73 percent.
“With less than one percent between each year, we again are seeing a strong market,” said Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the GCADA.
“The fourth quarter will be a bit more difficult as passenger vehicle inventories are higher than normal. Regardless, this is an opportunity for a car buyer to find a deal on 2018 models still on the lot.”
Dealers have sold 169,789 new vehicles this year compared to 171,043 new vehicles last year at this time. Used vehicle sales rose 3.72 percent when comparing August 2018 with the same period last year, and are up more than 3 percent for the year. Total new and used vehicle sales are up just under 1 percent for the year.
Ford continued its reign as Northern Ohio’s best-selling brand, besting Chevrolet 3,520 new vehicles to 3,201 units in the month. Honda sold 1,988 new vehicles in the month for third, just one vehicle ahead of hard charging Jeep, which came in fourth. However, Jeep was up more than 28 percent when comparing last month with August of 2017.
If you have an item for the business roundup column, send the information to the Norwalk Reflector in care of Zoe Greszler, 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857, or email it to [email protected]