Arkona Appliances, located at 7333 Arkona Road in Arkona, has been an independently owned and operated business for over 40 years. Bob Mitchell purchased the business 15 years ago. “I had been managing Arkona Appliances for a year when the owner decided to retire and sell the business. I needed a job, so I bought the job!” Mitchell had over 30 years of experience in the appliance industry, so the transition to owning the business was fairly smooth. In 2010, Mitchell opened Arkona Appliances in Sarnia, located at 1437 London Road. “I worked in the appliance business in Sarnia for almost 20 years, and I saw a void in the market for an independent appliance store. We opened ten years ago and haven’t stopped growing.”

Both Arkona Appliance locations carry the same brands, offer competitive prices and provide free delivery. “We carry trusted, quality brands like Maytag, Whirlpool, GE, KitchenAid, Amana, and Frigidaire. Our products include ovens, refrigerators, washers, and dryers. We have everything from your basic model right up to the top of the line.” Mitchell’s staff have the knowledge and experience to guide their customers through the process. “We act as a tour guide for our customers. We walk our customers through all the features and benefits of an appliance to help them make an informed decision. If a customer isn’t going to use all the bells and whistles, why would we sell them a model with all the bells and whistles?”

Excellence in customer service is a priority for Mitchell. “Arkona Appliances is not a big box store. We don’t sell furniture or hardware. We specialize in appliances and we pride ourselves on our personal service.” From the experience in the showroom to their free delivery, Arkona Appliances wants to provide a great customer service experience. “We provide personal service by going that little bit extra. Once delivered, our staff will uncrate the appliance, hook it up, and remove all garbage. We aren’t able to do gas installations, but we will make those arrangements ahead of time for our customers, so they can start using their new appliance as soon as possible.” The staff at Arkona Appliances do not work on commission. “We work as a team because we want to provide our customers with great service. There’s never any pressure here.”

Mitchell has seen the appliance industry change over the years, both in terms of features and design. “Refrigerators have probably changed the most over the last few years in terms of sizes, styles, options, and colours. Appliances are now the centrepiece of a new kitchen, and customers want something that is both functional and beautiful.” The staff ensures that each customer understands the manufacturer's warranty that comes with their appliance, and provides local service so their customers don’t have to deal with long distance calls to call centres. For Mitchell, the most rewarding part of his business is a satisfied customer. “It’s exciting to see a new kitchen with our appliances in it, but the happy customers is really what makes my day.”