By Morgan Bryce
After 67 years of operating in downtown Opelika, Dorris Signs has moved from its 1st Avenue location into a new warehouse at 409 Ermine St.
Relocating became an option three years ago as the Dorrises learned of the developments coming to 1st Avenue. After some discussion, they decided earlier this year that it would be best for them to move and allow progress to continue on the street.
“We loved being on 1st Avenue and in downtown and I was very proud to see all that was going on. But Ricky and I were proud enough to say, ‘hey, let’s keep this going on and let us get out of the way,’” Lagina said.
Within their new 5,000 square feet facility is an already existing paint booth, and the Dorrises said that they are in the process of obtaining the “latest and most sophisticated machinery” to help “streamline (their) workload” and enable a faster turnaround for their customers. There is also adequate room for vehicles in need of decaling or lettering to park inside or outside the structure.
Another change in their business plan is to reduce their service area to a 60-mile radius “to insure that (their) local customers can have service on their signs in a more timely fashion” according to Ricky.
Signs from their shop adorn the sides of major retailers and local companies including East Alabama Medical Center. No matter how big or small their client is, however, Lagina said the part they enjoy most is the lasting relationships formed through business.
“We don’t have just ‘customers,’ we have ‘friends’ that buy signs with us. With a lot of customers, I know their kids and am Facebook friends with them,” Lagina said. “When you come into our shop, we want you to feel like you’re a part of us and know that we’re a small business that puts family first.”
The Dorrises plan to host a reception later this summer to showcase their new shop and its accessories.
Plans for their previous location on 1st Avenue have yet to be determined, according to the property purchaser. The Dorrises will officially close on the property during the month of July.
“When Ricky and (the future building owner) made the decision and were shaking hands, I balled my eyes out. They came over to apologize later and I told them that it was not a sad cry,” Lagina said. “It was simply recognizing the closing of the Gene chapter of Dorris Signs and the beginning of a new and improved Dorris Signs Company.”
To learn more about the history and origins of the business, visit the following link: https://opelikaobserver.com/dorris-signs-celebrates-65-years/, which was published on Feb. 22, 2017.
For more information, call 334-745-2645.