Beyond the basics
Oct 29, 2012
Zvi Cohen: I always knew that I’m going to have my own business. And I always knew that it’s going to be in New York also. Basics Plus is a chain of hardware and houseware stores.
Rafael Villar: Our motto is, whoever walks in, doesn’t walk out empty-handed. Cause either, we have everything they need, or we get whatever they need.
(V/O) Zvi Cohen: After I finished the army in Israel I came to New York City. And then I opened my own tiny little locksmith shop. Customers that came in to cut keys, started to ask for all kinds of hardware. Do you have a hammer? Do you sell a screwdriver? Soon enough I had over twenty thousand different items. Everybody needs something that we carry. Whether it’s blankets, to screws, to candles…
Rafael Villar: Espresso machine, light bulbs, everything they need they get.
Alec Schlimel: I was trying to find a bag for my vacuum cleaner and they do have it.
Rafael Villar: Most of the customers that we have are repeating customers. And it’s not expensive.
Zvi Cohen: The employees know the customers by name. It’s a big party going on basically. I started to work with Bank of America when they opened a branch right next to my office. They give me great service.
Edward Addeo: I love working with business owners. I like to tell them, they have an accountant, they have an attorney, and they have a banker.
Zvi Cohen: I decided to expand one of my locations. I have so much merchandise over there, that there is no room for customers anymore. And I had an opportunity to rent the next door store.
Edward Addeo: Zvi is very ambitious. And I respect that. We went over everything that he needed to build out the store. And then I took the process from there.
Zvi Cohen: It was there for me. He told me that whatever happens, they’re going to be there with the money. Three weeks from the date that I asked for a finance, I had the money in the bank. It was really great.
Edward Addeo: Now he’s moving forward with the construction. And purchasing the inventory.
Zvi Cohen: This is going to be my flagship store. New York is a tough place to do business. But on the other hand, it’s the place to do business. In the last three years I opened three locations. And I’m very proud to be giving a hundred jobs at these tough times.
Edward Addeo: There are nine stores now. I’d love to see them grow to ten, fifteen, twenty. They listen to the customers in the area, and anytime you do that, you’re gonna succeed.
Zvi Cohen: And I’m very confident that Ed and Bank of America will be there for me when I need them. Our customers love us. The business is doing well. We must be doing something right.