By HEIDI BERDEN
The Leader and Kalkaskian
MANCELONA, MI — DTX International has grown from two employees to 10 at its headquarters in Mancelona during the past few years and is thriving in an otherwise slow economy.
“We’re busy,” said David Tucker, DTX customer service manager. “Demand has grown and we’ve seen an increase in sales.”
The company, located on U.S.-131 south of downtown Mancelona, sells a wide range of products all over the world, from popcorn machines and tools to photography equipment. They have a storefront in Mancelona where they sell goods, but also via their website and on other websites like Home Depot, Walmart, Sears, KOHL’s, eBay and Amazon.
“If you go to one of those websites and search for popcorn, our machine will pop up,” Tucker said. “If you order one of our products from Walmart.com, it comes from this warehouse. It’s a big part of our business.”
Tucker’s wife, Tracey, met Brian Foster, one of the DTX partners, when she was working at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Mancelona.
“They were talking about his plans to move here from downstate,” Tucker said. “She introduced us and the next thing you know, I’m working with him.”
Foster and his partner, Tom Gerard of Rochester Hills, planned to locate their facility downstate.
“Brian had property in the area and was moving here,” Tucker said. “They found this building and decided to make it their headquarters.”
DTX is the official manufacturer of their goods, as everything is made to their specifications, but nothing is built from scratch in the Mancelona facility.
“Our products are imported here and disbursed to our customers and vendors,” Tucker said. A semi truck full of product typically leaves the Mancelona facility every day and, because DTX is involved in the shipping business, items sometimes get damaged.
“We have an employee designated to repair and refurbish damaged goods,” Tucker said. “We sell those at a discounted rate.”
A passing train recently hit the popcorn machine on display in front of the business, which stood there for more than three years.
“It somehow got a little too close to the tracks,” Tucker said.
The company welcomes walk-ins at their headquarters and sells brand-new merchandise off their shelves.
The business is open, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 1-800-665-0728 or visit dtxinternational.com.