Carrie Rengers

Ribbit Computers expands with new mobile concept

Alex Harb, owner and founder of Ribbit Computer of Wichita, will represent Kansas in Washington, D.C., as the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Person of the Year.
Alex Harb, owner and founder of Ribbit Computer of Wichita, will represent Kansas in Washington, D.C., as the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Person of the Year. Eagle file photo

Ribbit Computers is expanding with a new concept.

Alex Harb says he’s closed two of his stores in preparation to expand with three new ones that will focus on mobile business.

“We’re going through a rebranding process,” he says. “They will be more mobile friendly stores because that’s where the market is heading.”

Harb is working with Jon Cyphert of Jon Cyphert Commercial Real Estate on finalizing leases at 21st and Greenwich, 21st and Tyler and Pawnee and Seneca.

The new stores will be between 1,600 and 1,800 square feet and likely will have drive-throughs.

The stores Harb closed are a 6,000-square-foot store at Kellogg and Rock and a 2,500-square-foot store near Lowe’s on Maize Road.

Harb says he wants to focus some of his stores on mobile because so many customers are bringing in phones, tablets and laptops compared to years past when larger computers were the norm.

In addition to repairing mobile devices, the new stores also will focus on mobile for retail as well.

Current stores, which will remain full retail outlets, include the company headquarters at Douglas and Washington, 3433 N. Rock Road near Sam’s Club and 240 S. West St. near Maple and West.

Harb is a busy man these days. In addition to expanding Ribbit, he recently opened Meddys, a Mediterranean fast-casual concept near Harry and Rock.

“I would like to thank the city of Wichita and the community for supporting Meddys,” Harb says. “It’s been a great business venture.”

He says it was an immediate hit, with lines out the door when the restaurant first opened.

Harb also owns a Golden Corral and Computer Depot stores.

“I get bored,” he says. “I gotta look for the next venture.”

Doesn’t he get tired, though?

“You know, I’m kind of used to it.”

Harb says he’s able to do it by “having very talented people … that shape history on a daily basis.”

That seems like an awfully big statement, but Harb says it fits.

“It is a big statement. They do shape history.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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