ENC Industrial Supply opens in Ahoskie

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2023

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AHOSKIE – As the owner of an industrial supply company, Melissa Keys had ample opportunity to open her distribution center where the density base of her customers is higher.

Rather, she chose Ahoskie.

Robert and Melissa Keys (center) cut the ceremonial ribbon to formally open ENC Industrial Supply, located on North Railroad Street in Ahoskie. Joining them are, from left, Ahoskie Town Manager Leigh Etheridge, Merle Brown of the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce, family members Alex Veres, Doralee Veres, and Elizabeth Henley, and Connie Poland, Executive Director of the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant

Keys and her company – ENC Industrial Supply – have left the hustle-bustle of Chesapeake, VA. She and her husband, Robert, purchased a home in Ahoskie last October and opened a product distribution center for the busienss at 423 North Railroad Street.

The business offers janitorial supplies, facility maintenance, grounds maintenance, food service, and fleet maintenance (oil and grease).

“We help our customers with any of the supplies they need to support their facility or their work crew. We offer triple protection equipment,” Keys said.

The company also stocks an industrial grade degreaser, popular among municipalities that provide sewer services.

Keys, a Michigan native, is no stranger to the Roanoke-Chowan area.

“We’ve owned property in Rich Square for about 15 years; we built a small home there to use as our weekend getaways from the fast-paced life of the big city,” she said. “When we started looking for warehouse space in Virginia, we found much more reasonable prices here in Ahoskie.”

Keys added that Ahoskie is more of a central location for her business.

“If it’s shipped to our warehouse on one certain day of the week, we can make deliveries the very next day,” she stressed. “We deliver our products, which cuts down on the amount our customers pay for having the products shipped to them. That’s even more of a cost saving factor for our customers in rural areas.

“I’ve been asked so many times, why Ahoskie. My answer is always why not Ahoskie. I so enjoy this area,” Keys said. “I so enjoy the sense of community. In a larger city such as Chesapeake or Norfolk, you are an individual. Here you’re part of the community. I love it here.

“I tell everyone who are looking to start a new business, come to Ahoskie. There’s plenty of business rental space or purchase opportunities here, plus residential property,” she added.

ENC Industrial Supply is a fairly new company, founded in 2020. Prior to that, Keys worked in IT sales.

“I worked with companies that sourced products,” she said. “When COVID hit, everybody experienced supply chain issues because so many of the supplies were imported from other countries. I started my company with a focus on sourcing products that are made right here in the United States. That helps to stabilize the supply chain.”

ENC Industrial Supply is open from 7 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday. For more information, call 252-862-8300 or visit www.ENCIndustrialSupply.com.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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