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Custom Home Improvement and Coffee

Custom_Coffee

*This story was written by our new Show Room Saleswoman, Magen Meers

How do you like your coffee?

I recently visited a small and trendy boutique coffee shop for the first time. The atmosphere was beautiful. Gray walls with green accents in the form of live plants peppered the shop. Several tables containing small groups of men and women happily sipping their drink of choice chatted or huddled around laptop screens.

I approached the counter and stood staring at the menu mounted on the wall. A barista stood behind the cash register staring at me. I scanned the menu for something familiar. I was suddenly in a panic- I didn’t recognize anything on this menu! This was a coffee shop right? Where were the lattes and mochas that I’m used to? I glanced at the barista, still staring.”Ummmm,” I began sheepishly, “I’m not really sure what I want.” No response. Just the smallest look of annoyance and a small nod. Clearly he was not going to help me out with any recommendations, so I continued in a game of “Name That Espresso Drink” with him.

“I want something warm and sweet…but not too sweet like a mocha.”

He continued to look annoyed but this time he spoke. “Well you can get lattes with flavors or mochas. We have something called a Meow that is kind of like a latte with honey and cinnamon.'”

Convinced, I ordered the Meow (that’s what I heard although after some research, I think it was a Miel.) I paid for my purchase and stood waiting for my drink, anxious to get the heck out of there and avoid the judgement of the all-knowing barista.

Despite my less than perfect customer experience, the drink was delicious. Honey and cinnamon are my two favorite flavors and the combination was lovely. I began sprinkling cinnamon in my home brew and sweetening with honey but it wasn’t quite the same. I found myself craving a repeat but was hesitant to return to the shop. Remembering a gift card I’d been carrying around for a large-chain coffee shop, I thought I’d see if they could recreate the delicious drink there. I pulled into the driveway behind a long line of cars.

“Great,” I thought, “They’re going to love a custom coffee order. Especially when I don’t even know what drink I want!”

At the speaker a cheery voice greeted me.

“Do you have any drinks with cinnamon and honey in them?,” I said tentatively.

Without pause, the speaker responded “Sure, we can try it!”

Maybe they have a drink on the menu that’s similar, I thought. The line moved quickly and I found myself at the window in no time to collect my coffee. A young, smiling face waited for me. She took my cash and offered up two things: a drink in one hand, and a handwritten note in the other.

“I wrote down how we made your coffee so if you like it, you can order it again.”

“Oh, is there a drink like this and I just didn’t realize it?” I asked.

“No,” she replied, “we just came up with this so we wanted you to know how we made it.”

Impressed, I thanked her and shoved a dollar in the tip cup before driving away.

I’ve relayed this story to no less than ten people. Why? One, because it’s a really delicious drink and everyone should try it. More importantly, because it reflects an excellent customer service experience. Today’s marketplace offers a lot of choices. Choices are great but sometime staring up at a coffee menu, searching for the perfect lamp online or making choices to begin a full-scale remodel can be terribly overwhelming. We have customers that come to us and know almost exactly what they want to do. They have a vision and we make it happen. Other times, we know we want something but we’re not sure what.

That’s where our customer service sets us apart from the rest. We can help you choose exactly the right product. Whether it’s a new entry door, new kitchen counter or a complete bath remodel, we can help. Home improvements should be fun and exciting- not overwhelming. Our salespeople, designers and show room staff (me!) can guide you through each step of the process so there’s no guessing. If you have a “custom order” like my fancy espresso, we can help! Not only do we “do” custom orders- every design we do is custom. You can start by visiting me in our beautiful showroom in Washington and filling out a free, no-obligation project estimate form. Don’t know how you want your coffee? Let us help! We’ll even write down the recipe.

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Home Show 2017 | Behind the Scenes

Illinois_Home_Show

Some of the busiest weeks at Peoria Siding and Window are the weeks before and after a home show. Peoria Siding and Window participates in over 20 home shows and fairs a year! These events are a great way to meet new people and learn more about the community we serve. Almost everyone at the company has been a part of the planning, creating, or manning necessary for a successful show.

Last week we met some great people at the 2017 Spring Home Show in Peoria. Now, we’re setting up for a home show coming up in Bloomington-Normal on March 3-5, 2017.

Creating and Transporting the Displays

Illinois Home Shows

All of the displays in our booth are made in our warehouse and transported to the venue. Before the displays can be created, our installers study floor plans carefully to make sure we won’t take up more space than our booth allows. Sometimes they run into logistic puzzles about how to build, transport, and fit some of our largest displays through the door. Our installers overcome unexpected issues with quick thinking and creative problem-solving. This year, our installers built four shower displays, two window displays, two pergolas, and a sunroom to for the home show.

Setting Up the Booths

Peoria Home Show 2017

A few days before the home show begins, companies backload their largest displays into the venue. Before we set up anything else, we have to make sure our Four-Seasons sunroom can fit through the door. Then, we unload our display pieces from the truck and prepare them for assembly. Many of our display pieces, such as our pergolas and Woodfront Kitchen cabinets, are rebuilt every time we participate in a home show.

While the installers rebuild the heavier displays, helpers clean the displays that became dusty and disheveled during their trip from the warehouse. Our team can set up a booth in less than five hours. The most dramatic display rebuild is our TEMO Pergola. This display takes the most time to assemble and must be lifted onto its posts by a team of installers working together. We know the hard work is worth it because the pergola serves as a favorite meeting spot for salesman to talk with guests.

As hours pass, our booth begins to look ready for the home show. Our home show veterans walk through the booth to make sure display elements look professional and that our salesman will have enough room. It’s rare that a floor plan gets through a home show without being tweaked multiple times. Our saleswoman Ann Gattung has been with Peoria Siding and Window for 26 years and has participated in dozens of home shows and fairs. She serves as the voice of authority when anyone has a question about how the booth should be set up.

Meeting Future Clients

Illinois Peoria Home Show

During the Peoria Home Show, an estimated 3,000 people visited our booth. People from all around Illinois come to home shows to find the best deals, get inspiration, and have fun! Whatever their goal, it’s our job to make people feel welcomed and inspired. We make sure that our best salespeople are manning the booth to demonstrate our products and talk to guests about their project ideas. At the Peoria Home show, we met over 100 prospective clients in three days.

If people want a free project estimate, we set an appointment for one right at our booth. Some people come just to ask questions about a project they’ve been considering, and that’s fine too. If people don’t want an estimate right away, we give them our contact information and tell them to call us when they’re ready. It’s our job to make sure people leave our booth feeling excited – not pressured. Many guests stop by just to see our displays. Some fan favorites are our Four Seasons Sunroom and our Gutter Helmet display. We let those guests know they can come see our displays at our showroom anytime.


Every year, our home show evolves into something new. We learn from our past mistakes and come up with better ideas each year. At next year’s home shows, we hope to have better displays to show off our best products. We plan to set up a center where people can upload photos of their home into a software that illustrates how their home will look when the project is completed. If you visit a home show this season, make sure to visit our booths! We want to meet you and help you discover your dreams for your home.