WICHITA — A decade after opening Absolute Natural Stones, Ammar and Nazir Jesri are going to quit leasing and move their business to property they own.
“Finally,” Nazir Jesri says.
The business, along with sister company BidKansas.com, currently is on about two and a half acres they lease at 10909 E. Kellogg. The city is buying half the property for further Kellogg expansion.
In addition to more room, Ammar Jesri says the new property will allow more options.
“We can introduce more … businesses,” he says.
The Jesris have a master plan that they’re going to introduce in phases.
“We’re not going to be able to do it all at once,” Ammar Jesri says.
They hope to buy stone and other materials that aren’t completely processed so they can finish them themselves with cutting and light fabrication.
“We want to be able to produce it ourselves,” Ammar Jesri says.
“There’s opportunities for a lot of different things,” Nazir Jesri says.
That potentially includes granite countertops.
“It complements our business,” Nazir Jesri says. “Hopefully it is something we will be able to add.”
First, though, they have to move.
“Now really the hard work starts,” Ammar Jesri says.
They need to get utilities, prepare the ground and build an approximately 5,000-square-foot building.
“We’re going to need some cooperation, some good cooperation, from the city,” Ammar Jesri says.
The Jesris may lease temporary space for auctions in the meantime.
“Every week I get calls from somebody,” Nazir Jesri says of people looking to sell or buy auction items.
Once utilities and the new property are ready, the Jesris will have to move more than 1,400 pallets of materials.
“We can’t sell everything and just walk to the new location,” Ammar Jesri says.
The business is big, though the Jesris say they have several competitors who claim to be the biggest.
“We’re the second largest, but everybody else is the largest,” Nazir Jesri says.
“The customer is the judge on this,” Ammar Jesri says.
The Jesris’ father started in the stone business in their native Syria.
“He did that one chip at a time,” Nazir Jesri says. “Chiseling stones is a dying profession.”
Their business is growing, though the Jesris are concerned about when the move may happen and how it will affect business.
“Really, it’s going to hurt us to move right in the middle of the season,” Ammar Jesri says.
That would be June or July.
“We would love to move by April, but is it reality?” Ammar Jesri says.
“Doesn’t look like it,” Nazir Jesri says.
He says they’ll try anyway, though.
“We want to get there tomorrow.”