Pool and Spa Mart (Carefree LLC)

Posted in Dealer Spotlight

If you live in or around Albuquerque, New Mexico, the place to make your backyard dreams come true is Pool & Spa Mart, known as Carefree Spas.  Owner, Tom Gervais, and General Manager, Shane Brummett, have built a solid reputation within the local market as the company you can trust.

Gervais began selling satellite dishes in 1982 and was doing very well. However, a perfect storm of events changed the course of his career forever. The satellite technology started to become obsolete plus, he ran into a legal issue that essentially closed his business. “I went broke because of a lawsuit,” states Gervais. “It was a good lesson and taught me to do my own research!”

Beginning again was not an easy task.  Out of cash flow, Gervais decided to leave the electronics industry and sell hot tubs. He began to talk with a local electronics businessman who became his mentor. “I started over with his help and sold hot tubs out of a tent in the parking lot!” chuckles Gervais. Eventually he moved inside the store, renting about 1000 square feet in the corner.  “It worked out well and I had my own storefront by 1986,” says Gervais.  He now owns 5 stores within the greater Albuquerque market and hasn’t looked back. “I’m a self-made man but, I had help!” he quips.

Shane Brummett, General Manager of the Pool & Spa Mart Store on 1st Street in Albuquerque, says it’s easy to come into work every morning. “We have a great store here with hot tubs, 3 different kinds of stoves: wood, pellet and gas, gazebos, pergolas and swim spas.”  Brummett feels that selling quality products along with a great staff are the things that set his store apart.  He states, “We employ nice people and we sell good products!”  Gervais agrees and states, “We pick products that have a competitive advantage, a unique story if you will.” He feels that with the mix of quality products he offers, it gives his company a niche in the market that sets them apart.  Additionally, each store specializes in a different product line, allowing the staff to be product experts within that brand.

Overcoming the recession of 2007 was another obstacle that Gervais and Brummett have weathered. “Almost overnight we went to selling half of what we had been doing in the years earlier,” states Gervais.  Brummett agrees and says, “I didn’t know if we were going to get through it. I thought I’d have to go back to school for another career!” But, Pool & Spa Mart did make it through by closing some store locations and cutting expenses.  “It worked!” states Gervais, “We outlasted 27 different hot tubs stores in this town!”

Both Gervais and Brummett are looking for a great 2017 for Pool & Spa Mart. Brummett states, “I’m looking forward to writing more business.  We try to keep it simple, and small but with great quality!” Gervais is optimistic about next year too. “I can’t see it going anywhere but up!”

Bringing Nordic into their hot tub lineup was a decision both Gervais and Brummett feel was a great one. “Nordic has the least service on anything we sell…by far! It’s a good name and easy to work,” states Brummett.  Gervais agrees, “Nordic is reliable! It’s the most reliable line we sell.  They are simple and customers love them!”

When asked what advice they have for other dealers, Brummett quips, “Carry Nordic!” But he goes on to say, “Don’t get too big too fast.  Stay steady and do what you do best!”  Gervais has this advice, “Hire nice people and take good care of them! Let your managers run the store.  Let it go and don’t think you’re the only one who can do things right. My managers run the stores better than I can!”  Gervais also advises, “Don’t let the business run you, learn to step back and lead a more balanced life.”

Gervais, Brummett and the Pool & Spa Mart Sales Team can be reached through the website.

      carefreelogoCarefree Exterior 2Pool & Spa Mart/Carefree Spas location at 7004 Menaul NE, Albuquerque, NM.

Carefree Interior 2A unique Nordic display at Pool & Spa Mart/Carefree Spas in Albuquerque, NM.
Carefree Kona DarkerKona is ever watchful when the lifeguard is on break at Pool & Spa Mart/Carefree Spas.
Installation in progressA recent installation with a gorgeous view by Pool & Spa Mart/Carefree Spas, Albuquerque, NM.



Haven Spa Pool & Hearth

Posted in Dealer Spotlight

Haven Spa Pool & Hearth has been a fixture in the Portland, Oregon business community since 1975.  Beginning with the Clackamas location, Haven Spa Pool & Hearth expanded, adding locations in both Beaverton, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington.  Currently they have a total of 23 employees covering the 3 locations.

According to Stephan Drapeau, General Manager, Haven Spa Pool & Hearth is where their customers come to create their dream backyard and personal oasis. Drapeau knows that by providing a variety of quality products for his customers to choose from he can turn those dreams into reality.  In addition to hot tubs, Haven Spa Pool & Hearth offers swim spas, fireplaces and stoves, above ground swimming pools and barbeques.  “We also have a full Service and In-House Delivery Department,” adds Drapeau.

With 3 locations to manage, Drapeau learned early on that attention to detail is key to keeping his business at the top of its game. “What sets us apart is the quality of our staff,” states Drapeau, “most have been with us for years!”  He goes on to say, “We have an ongoing and unwavering commitment to providing an exceptional customer experience.”  With an emphasis on ‘Service First’ Drapeau and the staff at Haven Spa Pool & Hearth know that going the long mile to exceed customers’ expectations turns them into customers for life.

Having been in the industry for over 45 years, Haven Spa Pool & Hearth has weathered economic storms.  Drapeau’s uncompromising goal of retaining all his employees during the downturn of 2009 was realized through innovative marketing and management.  “We prized every customer that called or walked through our door,” he states. “We needed their business and we wanted them to know how important they were to us.”  It worked!  Drapeau not only retained all the employees during the ‘down’ economy but also realized a more loyal customer base, making Haven’s rebound even stronger.

2016 has been a great year for Haven Spa Pool & Hearth but Drapeau is looking forward to building on that success in 2017.  He states, “I’m looking forward to continued growth and innovative product developments from our vendor partners. This is what keeps us at the forefront in the minds of our customers and puts us ahead of our competitors.”

Haven Spa Pool & Hearth has been a Nordic Dealer Partner for over 16 years, having taken the line on in 2000. Drapeau does not regret his decision as he states his favorite thing about Nordic Hot Tubs is “DEPENDABILITY!!! We can always count on Nordic to deliver a great value and provide high quality service to their dealers.”

You can find Haven Spa Pool & Hearth through the website, on Facebook or, follow their Twitter feed.
      Haven LogoHaven StorefrontHaven Spa Pool & Hearth
Clackamas Location.

Beaverton Store 2Haven Spa Pool & Hearth
Beaverton Location.

Vancouver Store 3Haven Spa Pool & Hearth
Vancouver Location.



Posted in Dealer Spotlight

The year is 1955. The microwave oven is invented, the TV remote becomes public and the Brooklyn Dodgers are the World Series Champions.  It is also the year that Burt Hesselson opened the doors of his retail store in Elmira Heights, New York.  What started out as an Army/Navy surplus store evolved into the outdoor outfitters’ one-stop empire of Hesselson’s.

Tom Witzel, President of Hesselson’s, knows that longevity in the retail sector speaks volumes.  The reputation of Hesselson’s is they do the right thing when it comes to the customers.  He also knows that offering quality products at good prices makes for a solid loyal customer base. 

Having quality staff is also important to Witzel.  “Most of my key employees have been employed here for over 15 years.”  Training and product knowledge are key aspects to keeping his staff up to date on the variety of products Hesselson’s offers to their customers. 

In the mid-80’s Hesselson’s added hot tubs to their retail product line.  At first they displayed 2 to 3 tubs as a complement to the above-ground pools they carried.  Since then, they have expanded the showroom to where they now show over 25 hot tubs at any given time and have a minimum of 60 in the warehouse ready for immediate delivery.

Hesselson’s brought Nordic Hot Tubs into their showroom about 11 years ago.  Witzel is happy with their decision and feels Nordic is a great value for his customers.  “They have a lot of sizzle that customers want but can’t afford in an $8000 tub but can with a Nordic for under $5000” states Witzel. He also knows the Nordic quality adds value within the price point. “They just don’t break down!” he adds.

Being a retailer for as long as Witzel has been means he has seen many ups and downs in the business cycle.  “Economic conditions are always changing” he states.  The changing business climate challenges him but, keeping on trend and ahead of the competition is what he enjoys.

In addition to selling hot tubs and pools, Hesselson’s carries work boots, hunting gear and accessories, guns, ammunition, work and cold weather clothing. “I’m looking forward to a cold winter and a hot summer” quips Witzel. “Being in the pool business we like the hot summers, the hotter the better! But, we also sell a lot of cold weather clothing for hunting and the cold weather makes customers think about gearing up” he adds.

The advice Witzel has for other dealers is this, “Come to work every day, work hard and do the best you can do. Be a flexible boss and respect everyone around you.”  That’s good advice for work and for life!

Hesselson's is hosting a Nordic Sale Event beginning Thursday, October 26 through Sunday, October 29, 2017.  Join Tom and his Sales Team for some great prices on Nordic Hot Tubs!

Tom Witzel and the Hesselson’s Sales Team can be contacted through the website or find them on Facebook.

      Hesselsons Logo SQHesselsons Bldg SignHesselson's is located at
163 14th Street
Elmira Heights, NY.

Hesselsons Tent SaleHesselsons is hosting a Nordic Tent Sale Event from Thursday, Oct 26 - Sunday, Oct 29, 2017.