THE CUTTING EDGE
Headquartered in his garage with two copier models to sell and service,
George Sands founded the first and only copy machine dealership in the
Florida Keys in 1975.
of the Keys still sells copiers, but now also offers printers, facsmilies
and combination units that operate alone or as part of a computer network.
As office equipment technology continues to advance, Sands sees local
businesses adopting more multi-function machines connected to the Internet
and interacting with computer networks at remote locations. But regardless
of what features and functions technology delivers, the focus of Sands
of the Keys will remain unchanged.
The company's steady growth over the last quarter century had nothing
to do with luck or chance, but with a long-standing commitment to providing
efficient service, ensuring customer satisfaction, and doing business
in the local business community.
maintain an unmatched response time to service calls and everyone working
here, whether in sales, administration or service, is focused taking care
of customers first," George said. "We
have earned our customers one at a time by providing service, support
OWNED & OPERATED
Although many local businesses are owned and run by local residents, Sands
of the Keys truly takes its "locally operated" role to heart.
The office walls in the new Islamorada headquarters building are not only
adorned with local artwork, but the walls themselves were designed, constructed,
and painted by locals. "Being a local business makes you realize
the importance of doing business locally," George said. "We
support other local businesses every way we can."
One business relationship at a time, George built his fledgling dealership
into a thriving business that needed space to grow. The first commercial
office for Sands of the Keys was in warehouse on Plantation Key. From
there, the business moved to an office building a little farther south
on the island, and then into the 88888 Building, where Sands of the Keys
prospered for several years. In 1999, Sands of the Keys purchased its
new Islamorada headquarters, which at first was little more than an abandoned
bowling alley turned radio station.
Sands then hired local designers and contractors to transform a long-neglected
building at MM 86.4 into today's 8,000-square-foot headquarters. Originally
built to house the "Bowl Away," the 1964 structure had seen
many uses throughout the years and was in need of a full restoration and
major repairs, including a completely new roof. The Sands' remodeling
efforts were not only appreciated by the surrounding community, but they
were recognized by the Islamorada Chamber with a much-deserved "Beautification
WEST TO HOMESTEAD
In addition to its new Islamorada office, Sands also operates a business
office in Key West which opened IN 1994 in the 201 Historic District.
The company now serves area businesses from Key West to Homestead.
More than half of the Sands' employees have worked for the company for
ten years or more. Marti Mincer credits her longevity to the management style. The work atmosphere is positive and the managers are all thoughtful and
considerate, Marti said. "It's a great place to work."
The company also promotes from within and offers profit sharing and other