Fireside Pros Features Customer Focused Service

Fireside Pros Features Customer Focused Service

By Kelly Johnson FOR THE TIMES

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fstrentontimes1114aAs it seemingly does for most, the winter season sneaks in without much warning, bringing with it snow, freezing temperatures and high heating bills. But about four years ago, partners Alan “Gordy” Techner and Mark Pedersen offered an efficient alternative to area residents looking to beat the cold — fireplaces.

Fireside Pros, conveniently located in South Windsor and Freehold, provides numerous types of wood, gas and pellet-burning fireplaces and stoves, fireplace inserts and doors, gas logs, screens, maintenance accessories and much more. The business also specializes in mantels, stone and tile work.

“In four and a half years, we seem to have made a pretty good mark. People recommend us and we get a lot of customers who have been to other places and come here and find the way that we do business to be really friendly,” Techner said. “We’re a very customer-focused company.”

The personal experience begins with one step into showroom. Upon entering the building along Route 130 in South Windsor, customers are immediately greeted by consultant Mitchel Galinsky and receptionist and “director of first impressions”Jodi Santemauro, who makes prospective buyers feel almost at home in a room full of fireplaces — offering drinks and treats neatly arranged on nearby tables.

A professional at either location will meet with the customers —whether they are coming for a scheduled appointment or are walk-in shoppers — and discuss what they are interested in and what their living situation permits.

Fireside Pros services Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties and features the Regency and Hampton lines of heating products, which use noncatalytic technology. Also offered are wood and natural gas heating appliances of HearthStone, which makes its products from soapstone because of its ability to retain heat and provide long-lasting, durable and gentle warmth. All of the products are also EPA certified, Techner said.

Techner said that while most interested buyers typically do independent research online before making a commitment, some still do not know what they want or what is most suitable for them. “A lot of people come in and say that they want a fireplace for heat but go to this one,” he said, as a fire began roaring with just a flip of a switch next to a deep fireplace surrounded by black marble and flanked by glass doors.

“Actually, this one is more for aesthetics,” he explained. Although almost indecipherable to the untrained eye, other similar-looking units and inserts cater to zoned heating, or provide heat for a certain area of the home or room. The key to every consultation, according to Techner, is determining what is best suited to the customer.

There are even ceremonial buttons situated on the consultation tables in the showroom that proclaim, “That was easy!” when pressed, an action taken at the end of every consultation, Techner said.

“This is an investment. It’s a commitment, and we try to make it as easy as possible while making sure that they’re getting what they want and what they need,” he said. “We try to marry them to the right product and if we need to come out to the house, we’ll come out to the house to make sure that the job is going to get done properly.”

Techner said that he encourages every prospective buyer to come to one of the showrooms to see the variety of products and get an in-person consultation, but appointments can also be made for on-site evaluations and estimates before installation.

The company has a few of its own people who specialize in the multiple areas of fireplaces including installation, stone and tile work, electrical work and gas hookups and conversions. Techner said that a lot of value comes from keeping his team a tight-knit group.

“All of the people we use are people who are very good at their jobs,” he said. “We have people who are personable and know how to talk to customers and know how to work on their feet.”

While Fireside Pros only started a few years ago, it is shared with Awning Design West, a business with a history of more than two decades.

Providing high-quality shade products to commercial and residential customers in Central Jersey since 1988, Techner joined Pedersen, president of the company, as a partner in 2008.

Shortly after opening the second location in Windsor and at the onset of the recession, Pedersen and Techner began looking for ways to sustain their business throughout the year, since awnings were predominately selling between March and the early summer months.

Ironically, the hard economic times actually worked in their favor, Techner said, as companies were looking to expand their client base and area officials were receptive to new, attractive businesses.

“We’re very successful with awnings, but it is seasonal and it is optional. It’s not necessary. We needed something different for the other months,” Techner said, “and fireplaces are sexy.”

Regency and Hampton worked with Fireside Pros to set up the showrooms in Windsor and Freehold, Techner said, and the business took off. During its first season the company installed more than 60 heating units along with numerous additional appliances.

The showrooms at both locations are open at convenient times seven days per week. For more information about Fireside Pros, visit and for Awning Design West, visit awning

Fireside Pros hosted 2011 anniversary sale event

Fireside Pros hosted 2011 anniversary sale event
From left, Fireside consultant Mitchel Galinsky, showroom receptionist Jodi Santimauro and partner Alan “Gordy” Techner gather in front of a Regency H-300 wood burning stove inside Fireside Pros.
From left, Fireside consultant Mitchel Galinsky, showroom receptionist Jodi Santimauro and partner
Alan “Gordy” Techner gather in front of a Regency H-300 wood burning stove inside Fireside Pros.
It’s been one year since Fireside Pros opened its Route 130 South Windsor showroom shared with Awning Design West, and partners Mark Pedersen and Alan “Gordy” Techner know they’ve already made a positive impact for many homeowners when it comes to efficiently heating their homes.

To celebrate, Fireside Pros will be hosting an anniversary sale event this Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16 featuring special savings and product demonstrations.

Fireside Pros provides all types of fireplaces, fireplace inserts, wood, gas and pellet burning stoves and more along with related products such as gas logs, fireplace doors and screens, tools, accessories, mantels and surrounds.

At Fireside Pros, customers can count on the same friendly customer service, professional advice and expert installation they’ve come to trust and expect at all of Awning Design’s three locations.

The store features Regency Fireplace Products and Hearthstone products, many models of which are on display in the cozy showroom and all of which come with limited lifetime factory warranties.

New for this season will be the Hampton® GC60 Large Pellet Stove, the Hampton® GCI60 Large Pellet Insert and Regency Liberty™ L540E Large Gas Insert. Expect them to be on display by the end of October.

Regency Fireplace Products use non-catalytic technology and include the Hampton brand of fireplaces, stoves and inserts. Made from handcrafted cast iron and known for their exquisite finishes and perfect detail, Hampton products provide ageless beauty, timeless styling, exceptional quality and a way to cut home heating costs while enjoying a beautiful fire.

Also crafted to the highest industry standards, Hearthstone stoves feature fireboxes made of natural soapstone known for its
ability to retain heat and radiate gentle, comfortable warmth for long periods of time.

“Initially we spent the better part of a year investigating fireplaces, inserts and stoves,” said Techner about the decision to carry Regency Fireplace Products and Hearthstone.

“We chose Regency, Hampton and Hearthstone because we want to provide our customers with the kind of quality and value they’ve come to expect from us.”

The decision has really paid off as Fireside Pros successfully installed more than 60 heating units during their first season in addition to gas log sets, fireplace glass doors and a full fireplace build-out where nothing existed before.

press2011The company was recently awarded “Top New Dealer” in New Jersey by Fireplace Products International, the parent company of Regency and Hampton products.

Fireside Pros also carries a selection of logs for gas fireplaces including Firegear, rated a “Best Buy” by Consumer Reports magazine and Eiklor Flames, known for their detailed, realistic appearance and multiple burner technology.

“The Eiklor Flames Ultimate 5 series gas log set has been our most popular seller,” said Techner. “Once people visit into the
showroom and see them burning, they can’t take their eyes off of the dancing flames.”

Customers are invited to visit the store where seasoned fireside professional Mitchel Galinsky is waiting to offer expert advice for your individual situation and showroom receptionist Jodi Santimauro will treat you like a guest while handling your needs. If you prefer, Mitch is also available by appointment to come to your home.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your insert or stove immediately, or just want to talk to a professional about a future project, you’ll find friendly, expert advice at Fireside Pros.

“Our new Hearthstone Heritage wood stove is the focal point of the room,” said Robyn Sydorko of Yardville. “The installers were very professional, polite and courteous, and we are very happy with the work they did,” added her husband Rob.

Homeowners with traditional fireplaces know there’s a trade-off for those winter nights spent in front of a roaring fire. You can feel the temperature drop with each step you take upstairs after the fire burns down. At Fireside Pros, a variety of
wood and gas-burning fireplace inserts are available that will actually add heat to your home rather than draw it out.

Beautiful and inviting, inserts transform your fireplace into an auxiliary heat source. They also add an updated look to your home and allow your fireplace to remain the focal point – and favorite gathering spot of your room.

Fireplace inserts, along with wood- and pellet burning stoves, are also energy-saving home improvements.

Fireside Pros is only at Awning Design’s Windsor/ Robbinsville location at 1392 Route 130 South in Windsor/Robbinsville. Look
for a barn-like building with two colorful awnings in front – one for Awning Design West, and one for Fireside Pros. Then stop in and meet the professionals who are eager to help you prepare for the long winter ahead.

Showroom hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Mondays are by appointment. Home visits
may be scheduled anytime. Call (609) 223-2020

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Fireside Pros Earns Top Award

Fireside Pros Earns Top Award


Fireside Pros of Windsor, NJ, was awarded New Jersey’s “Top New Dealer” by Fireplace Products International, manufacturers of the Regency and Hampton brand of fireplace appliances. Fireside Pros opened their Route 130 showroom, shared with it’s parent company Awning Design, in October 2010 and offers gas, wood and pellet fueled products.

“We were very pleased with our first hearth season and owe a great deal of thanks to the folks at FPI who help design and setup our showroom”, according to owners Alan “Gordy” Techner and Mark Pedersen.

Fireside Pros is located at 1392 Rt. 130 South and can be contacted at 609-223-2020. For more information, contact us today.