PLATTSBURGH — A Montreal-based optical company has expanded into the Town of Plattsburgh.
Westgroupe USA has signed a five-year lease with The Development Corp. for 5,000 square feet of space in the Banker Road Industrial Park. The company is expected to hire two to four employees initially.
The company was founded as Western Optical by Rodney Suliteanu in 1961. It has evolved into Westgroupe, which operates two divisions, Western and Westcan.
Those divisions distribute eyewear throughout Canada and 40 other countries around the world. Western’s brands include brands such as Superflex and Bertelli, as well as designer brands such as Perry Ellis and Elizabeth Arden.
The Wescan division includes an international premium brand assortment that includes Kliik Denmark, Fysh UK, Evatik and Converse.
Westgroupe was recently chosen the Canadian distributor of SPY optical and Sun products.
Suliteanu’s son, Michael, joined the company in 1990 and became vice president of sales in 1998. His sister, Beverly Suliteanu, joined the company in 1994 and is now creative director and vice president of product development.
“Over the years, I believe we have been successful because we have stayed focused on our customer’s needs, on servicing their needs, and staying ahead of the curve with both quality products and contemporary designs,” Michael Suliteanu said in a press release. “Expanding our operations to Plattsburgh enables us to better service our American customers and allows us a much more efficient distribution capability in the Northeast.”
The Development Corp. Director of Marketing Joanne Knowlton said Westgroupe was introduced to the area during a North Country Chamber of Commerce Red Carpet Day, where Canadian companies learn about business opportunities in the North Country. Chamber President Garry Douglas said Chamber Vice President for Economic Development Susan Matton put in a lot of work to bring Westgroupe to the area, including connecting them with Matt Boire of CDC Real Estate.
Michael Suliteanu said “We knew immediately when Matt Boire from CDC showed us the space at The Development Corp.’s Banker Road Industrial Park that we wanted to be here. The facility was in pristine condition, and we knew we would be able to set up our operation in a relatively short period of time.”
Erin Hynes, an economic developer at The Development Corp., said the two entities felt a connection from the beginning, as both recently marked their 50th year of business.
“We are delighted that Westgroupe has selected Banker Road Industrial Park as a location to begin a new chapter in the continued success of the company,” she said.
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