Cartridge Express owner Tom Ely continues to play his own personal game of musical stores on the west side.
Ely opened the business at 21st and Tyler in 2004, expanded to 21st and Maize in 2006 and now is moving to the 21st and Ridge area.
“We think it’s going to be a better fit for us,” he says.
The new space is next to where Tad Snarenberger opened his west-side Tad’s Locker Room at the former Red Bean’s Bayou Grill space.
“Tad’s an old friend of mine, actually,” Ely says.
Though the new Cartridge Express’ 1,850 square feet is about what the existing store has, Ely says it will be better configured and allow him to add services.
The store has printing cartridges for laser and ink printers and copiers. Ely says he’s going to be able to add color copying, laminating and a new key-cutting station. He says he has a number of real estate agents who shop with him and need the service.
Ely says that he likes that the new store will be more centralized.
“It’s going to make us closer to the interstate.”
As he tells customers about the move, Ely says he’s discovering that they’re happier about the site, too. He says a lot of his customers come from the east side, so the nearby interstate will be convenient for them.
Ely says eventually – possibly as early as next fall – he’ll probably look for east-side space, too.
“I think it’s in the future. I really do.”
For now, though, he’s concentrating on his upcoming move. Cartridge Express’ last day at its current space is Feb. 28.
Ely expects to take possession of the new space and begin working on it in January.
“I’ve got a six-week transition I can adjust to. I think it’ll make it a lot easier to do.”