It was a rainy December morning in 2014, when Store Manager, Paul D., entered the Berkeley store on College Ave and noticed a leak in the ceiling. It only took hours for the leak to turn into a flood, and he was surrounded by trash cans full of rain water. From that day forward, we were faced with endless complications in getting our frame shop back in full working order. We went from an almost complete shutdown--open one day a week for custom pick ups only--to intermittent power outages, which affected even the single open day, to slowly accepting framing orders three days out of the week, with tarps and blocked off sections. Almost two years later, tarps were still hung from the ceiling, dust from renovations and construction was in the air (mostly contained in the tarped areas!), but we were at least open 7 days a week, still trying our best to serve our loyal framing clients with the same level of expertise in custom picture framing and (now) readymade framing and matting.
WE'RE STILL HERE
Over these two years, we've gone through many changes. The flood led to months of roof repairs, which limited our framing salesfloor to half our original area, and our readymade frames, photoframes and supplies were also limited to about half our usual stock. Despite that major setback, we always tried to find ways or make plans to expand our offerings and frame options for our customers, at the very least to assure them that we weren't leaving.
It's now been over a month since all the repairs, all the renovations, and all our plans finally fell into place! From the 1/2 size salesfloor, we are now DOUBLE our original size. We've expanded our space AND our selection.
THE SAME, BUT DIFFERENT
The Frame-O-Rama you once knew is no longer, because our Berkeley store is now Cheap Pete's! The storm of 2014, it turned out, gave us an opportunity to re-evaluate what we wanted to do here in Berkeley. We've always loved offering the specialty services of Frame-O-Rama (shadow boxes, fabric-wrapped matting, oversize display options, etc.), but we knew that readymade picture frames and supplies were in high demand as well.
Being the same company, the transition was simple enough. We've maintained all the Frame-O-Rama services and selection, but now we carry the full line of Cheap Pete's readymade frames, mats & supplies.
Our Berkeley store has now become our model store for the Cheap Pete's side of the company. The new look of Cheap Pete's bridges the gap between the two divisions of Frame-O-Rama & Cheap Pete's. Berkeley's the best of both worlds.
Take a look at the photos in the gallery to see how much has happened over the years and where we are now.