City, school and parks officials hear feedback on future
The old Porter’s Lumber Yard building has a new occupant with plans to officially open July 15.
As part of an expansion under new owner David Schmidt, the St. Joseph-based American Gold Mine Pawn and Payday Loan Super Center will open a new location in Cameron, filling the building vacated after Porter’s Lumber closed last year.
“We were aware of the Porter location being on the market. We thought that would be a really good location,” Schmidt said. “We have a large pawn shop in St. Jospeh so it provided a good scale for us as far as the size of a showroom and connected warehouse space to keep the people’s pawn until they come back and get it.”
Despite the old Porter’s Lumber building being vacant of only a few months, remodeling the building will be no small undertaking. In just a few short weeks, General Manager Scott Sutton hopes to have installed display cases for guns, guitars, jewelry and electronics installed in time for the July 15 opening, then handing off oversight to store manager David Bromley, a Cameron resident.
“The size of the building worked perfect for us. We have a lot of work, but the plan is July 15,” Sutton said. “… It’s going great. Everything is going together great. We’ve had good crews on everything. We’ve had to do some plumbing and the guys that are out there now are doing the new gun rack and all of the shelving for the DVDs. They will have that all done next week. It’s going really good.”
Once the racks and displays are in place, Sutton said the next focus will be transferring surplus stock from the St. Joseph location to Cameron but that in no does not mean a lower quality product. Instead, he hopes to have everything available in St. Joseph inside the Cameron location - barring a few one-of-a-kind items - and even a few brand new firearms.
“Everybody seems really excited when I tell them who I am and what I’m doing,” Sutton said. “Floor space wise, it’s as big as our building in St. Joseph. We will have a large selection. The firearms have been selling like crazy so most of the firearms I’m selling are brand new. Most everything you will see here are brand new firearms. What we’re trying to do now is get in the inventory so we have enough.”
Sutton said what sets American Gold Mine Pawn and Payday Loan apart is the philosophy of they will pawn anything within reason. While some payday loan businesses have a minimum loan amount sometimes as high as $500, Sutton said the shops he oversees often provide relatively small loans with low interest rates.
“It’s very important. Right now, gas prices are reasonable. Pawns take off if gas prices spike like it has in the past,” he said. “We loan a lot of gas money for people just trying to get back and forth to work and the paycheck doesn’t make it until the end of the week. They might need $30 just to get back and forth to work and that’s what we’re here for … We don’t ask what it’s for, but we’re here to help them.”