Office supply needs were a bit different back in 1946, when Brutzman’s Office Solutions first opened in the Tri-Cities. Remington Rand typewriters were an early focus, for example.
But the company’s commitment to its customers and the community hasn’t changed, even as it’s grown, adapted and transformed over the last 77 years.
And that commitment will remain as the family-owned business changes hands, the new owner said.
The Brutzmans recently sold to Freeform, a Boise-based commercial interiors company. Terms of the March 1 sale were not disclosed.
“We greatly appreciate having the Bruztman family’s trust that we’ll take care of their customers and continue their legacy in the Tri-Cities market,” said Jeff Heath, chief executive officer for Freeform. “We’re really excited to get embedded and start building those lifelong relationships and help companies thrive in the Tri-Cities.”
Ken Brutzman, whose grandfather, Hal, founded Brutzman’s Office Solutions, also praised the move. For years, Ken has run the business with his sister, Kathy, and his brother, Keith.
“It’s handing off a legacy. I’ve been at it and my family’s been at it for a long time. To be able to transition in such a positive (way) going forward makes my heart feel good,” he said.
While Brutzman’s started as a typewriter and office supply company, its main focus for about the last 20 years has been as a contract furniture dealer, with a $5 million annual sales line.
That fit well with Freeform’s focus, and acquisition discussions began a few years ago, before being delayed by the pandemic.
Brutzman’s employees will stay on with Freeform, which will transition the Richland store to its branding in the coming months.
The Brutzman family is keeping its large format print operation.
Like Brutzman’s, Freeform – formerly Business Interiors of Idaho – is family-owned. The Heath family has known and worked with the Brutzmans for decades.
The Boise-based company took on the name Freeform after a merger with a Spokane firm last year. The acquisition of Brutzman’s Office Solutions links Freeform’s Spokane and Boise operations and will mean increased efficiencies and savings that will be passed onto customers, Heath said.
Freeform is a company of “furniture geeks” with a passion for making spaces for “people, culture and communities to thrive,” its website says. It has an extensive commercial, education, government, health care and multifamily portfolio, and it offers services from commercial space planning and design to ergonomic office furniture specification to architectural products and elements selection, and more. The company says it’s the only B Corp-certified furniture dealer in the world.
Brutzman’s Office Solutions is at 2501 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Richland.
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