Contacts: Lee Green and Michael Longenecker, Co-owners of Desoto Appliance (Arcadia, FL)
The sales floor at Desoto Applince in Arcadia, FL, looks like that of many other one-shop, small-town independent retailers around the country: wash sets, ranges and refrigerators at varying price points sit side-by-side in neat, if crowded, rows. Co-owners Lee Green and Michael Longenecker have a secret weapon when it comes to differentiating themselves, however...and it comes with claws.
“We are known for our mascot,” says Longenecker, referring to not one but two actual cats, “Little Bit” and “Mama Kitty,” who prowl his showroom each day. “We keep them in a fenced-in yard behind the store at night, but they know the sound of my truck. When I pull in every morning, they’re right there, waiting to be let in.”
Green says the live-in mascots will stretch out right on the sales counter, waiting for customers to give them a stroke. “I think it makes people feel comfortable,” she says.