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Cedar Street Sales and Rentals celebrates 20 years serving Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

It's all about relationships, says Guy Clark Jr., owner of Cedar Street Sales and Rentals.

Clark's business turned 20 today, and he said the enterprise has lasted because the people of Genesee County have trusted him and his staff.

"We owe a big thanks to the community," Clark said.

Raised in Stafford, Clark opened his first tool shop in Le Roy in 1985. He described it as an under-capitalized one-man operation, and he struggled, but he also started to gain a good reputation.

As the calendar flipped to 1993, the people at Cummings & Bricker, a Batavia-based wholesaler of farm equipment, approached Clark about opening a rental business on Cedar Street. Cummings and Bricker already owned the property, so they along with Clark and Ricky Palermo joined forces and opened Cedar Street Sales and Rentals March 1, 1993.

After a few years, Cummings and Bricker pulled out because both businesses shared the same peak seasons, Clark said, and that caused a little tension.

Another partner entered the picture for a few years, but seven years ago, Clark became sole owner of the business and has operated it successfully since, despite a recession and increased competition from the likes of Home Depot and Lowe's.

Clark said Home Depot went after the local rental business pretty hard a few years back.

Whatever Clark set as his rental price, Home Depot would offer the same tool for $1 less.

"They were attacking us pretty hard, but then they closed (the rental business) about three years ago," Clark said. "I was thrilled for that. I was proud of that."

Cedar Street has become one of the top Cub Cadet dealers in the nation, but there was a time when Clark didn't sell lawn mowers.

A persistent salesman kept trying to get him to stock a few, until finally, Clark recalled, the salesman said, "Look, let me put six in your store and if they don't sell by fall, I'll take them back, no hard feelings."

Clark added, "That was about 5,000 lawn mowers ago."

Clark was all smiles during the 20th anniversary party at his store today and said he does feel like he's accomplished something getting this far, even if you don't always notice the time sliding by.

"You don't think about it, and I didn't start thinking about it until I started looking at a calendar," Clark said. "Until people start coming in and saying, you've been here a long time, and you think, 'hey, I have been here a long time,' you don't think about it. You just go to work every day and never give it much thought."

The celebration continues Saturday with food, games, prizes and a chance to ride an all electric zero-turn mower from Cub Cadet. Clark said Cedar Street is the only dealership in the United States with the new mower in the store. They will go on sale this spring. The photo above is of Clark riding the mower. Customers who test drive it get a free hat. Food will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Irene Will

I called them a few years ago because I needed my lawnmower fixed. They told me they were VERY backed up, and they COULD make me an appointment - but not for a couple of months. He THEN told me he could refer me to someone that might be able to take care of me sooner, that I could TRUST, and that he highly recommended. I took down the number and called the guy, and he was AWESOME.

When a company will REFER you out to a GOOD place - which gains THEM not one dime - - - THAT'S good business.

Congratulations on 20 good years - here's hoping you have at least 20 more good ones !!!!!!

Mar 1, 2013, 6:33pm Permalink
Ed Glow

Congratulations Guy!

Being a long time customer myself it's not hard to understand how you've made it to 20 years. You and your staff have always gone the extra mile, and no doubt you'll see more "competition" come & go over your next 20 years too!

Mar 1, 2013, 6:33pm Permalink
Kyle Slocum

I am a huge fan. Guy has helped me in the past with projects that were a real big deal for me. His rental philosophy is the one I have adopted in my own business, because it serves everyone's interests and goals.

If you haven't had occasion to visit Cedar Street Rentals, I highly recommend that you do. What they have available to you is absolutely amazing.

Mar 1, 2013, 10:25pm Permalink
Jeff Allen

I've rented everything from scaffolding to floor sanders and drywall jacks to lawn rollers. Always fast friendly service. Saves the do-it-yourselfer tons of money. Congratulations on 20 and many more.

Mar 2, 2013, 11:21am Permalink
carol grasso

You are the best kept secret in Batavia! We love everything you do. Can't imagine life without you Guy! We at The Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden thank you for all you do. God Bless you all!!!!!

Mar 4, 2013, 11:30pm Permalink

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