• Renovated USDB Store reopens Dec. 3

    • email print
  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    After nearly a year of renovations, the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Sales Store is moving back to 740 W. Warehouse Road and will open Dec. 3 just in time for holiday shopping.
    “Before we remodeled, the sales floor was very chopped up and it was very small. If you got five people in there you felt like you were on top of one another. So, we have a much bigger sales floor to display the product and that was our main goal,” said Latoya Mount, USDB Sales Store budget analyst supervisor. “Now, (customers) will be able to come in here and really see what the inmates are capable of making.”
    Sandra Settles, USDB Sales Store clerk, said the open display areas allow customers to better visualize how the products will look in their homes.
    “It was hard to even focus on anything because it was just this little front room and everything was just kind of crammed in there,” Settles said. “So, it is nice to see it and I think it is important to see it.”
    For the past two weeks, Settles has been busy staging the displays including a gardening display, a living room display, a kitchen display and a firepit display.
    “I’m super excited,” she said.
    For more than 15 years, the Sales Store has been a place for USDB inmates to sell the items they create through the Vocational Training Programs, which include woodshop, sheet metal shop, textiles, graphic arts, embroidery, a barber shop and crafts. There are currently more than 450 inmates incarcerated and each of them contributes to the store in some way, Mount said.
    Some of the most popular items the inmates create include wrought-iron grills, smokers, fire pits and Christmas trees; and wooden convert-a-benches, which fold down into a picnic table when two are put together.
    The store will also feature more clothing options, including shirts for the different service branches, coin racks, wrought-iron reindeer and snowmen, and name plates for uniforms.
    Along with the larger sales floor, a new fire alarm system was installed, there are public restrooms on the sales floor, and a hallway connects the sales floor and the offices.
    “There used to be two sides to the building and now everyone is more together,” Mount said.
    There are also more employees to help things run smoother than they have in the past, Mount said.
    There will be two employees dedicated to online orders, one cashier who will assist customers picking up orders and purchasing finished products, and two employees to assist walk-in customers who have custom requests, she said.
    For custom orders, customers can come into the store and fill out an order form. Before the order is processed, the store will provide a quote and a proof for the customer to approve. Only then will the order be processed and payment will be requested.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We can do anything,” Mount said. “If you can dream it up, we can do it.”
    Credit card, check and cash are all acceptable payment methods. Customers can also make custom requests online at www.usdbsalesstore.com. In the coming weeks, a photo album will be on display at the store featuring past custom projects.
    All custom orders have a minimum of a 30-day turnaround, Mount said.
    The USDB Sales Store is a non-appropriated fund business. Employees are paid solely based on revenue of the products available in the store. Inmates receive an hourly wage for the time spent creating the items.
    The new shop entrance is on the west side of the building. Store hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, except the second Wednesday of the month when the shop is closed. For more information, call (913) 684-4811.
  • Comment or view comments