ADDRESS: 1505 NW Harrison Blvd
OWNERS: Dr. Jim Hale and Dr. Rob Young (pictured at left with their colleagues, Dr. Eric Knutson and Dr. Maureen Arthurs)
YEARS IN BUSINESS: Over 50 years!
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 18
WHAT THEY SELL: Vision care above and beyond regular check-ups, health and treatment for retinal diseases, accessories for quality eye care
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Their experience!
Valley Eye Care offers the latest and most advanced technology in vision care. The customer service you receive is from happy employees, vested in their company. They are clearly committed to the “gold standard” in eye care for patients.
Dr. Young, when and why did you decide to start your business? Valley Eye Care opened its doors over 50 years ago, thanks to Dr. Holcomb. Located in this same building, he shared the space with five dentists. I did some research by driving around small college towns to see which had the best feel. Corvallis reminded me of my boyhood home in Missouri with its thriving downtown and healthy small businesses. Dr. Hale grew up in Corvallis, and he knew it would be a pleasure to be of service to the community. We partnered together about nine years ago. Retired past owner, Dr. Knutson, still enjoys helping in the office on occasion, which we appreciate. In 2010, we welcomed associate Dr. Maureen Arthurs, who grew up in a small town in the Midwest and loves the family-friendly feel of Corvallis.
Tell us more about your products and services. We offer infant eye care and recommend that a child’s first exam be between six months to one year old so we can check for healthy eye development. Our technology is unparalleled. We have many imaging devices to offer for vision correction, eye conditions, eye diseases and vision problems of all ages. We also carry a large selection of frames, lenses, and accessories.
What does being featured as the Local Business of the Week mean to you? We are excited! Being able to reach out to the community aside from our patient care is always a big bonus.
What sets your business apart from others? Well, we have been the exclusive providers of OSU Beaver eye care for many years. We are proud to be of support to these college athletes.
What challenges have you faced as an independent local business owner, and how have you met those challenges? Our biggest challenge, like many of our colleagues in health care, has been adapting to the massive changes in the health care system. There are so many new governmental regulations and insurance changes over the past couple years that we have had to work very hard to keep up. Fortunately, we’ve been able to add staff to meet these challenges without reducing face time with our patients and while maintaining the high quality of care our patients deserve.
What do you feel is the impact of local independent businesses on Corvallis? First of all, we give credit to the community for supporting local businesses. When you work for an independent business, you feel you are making an impact on the community.
What do you enjoy most about owning a local, independent business in Corvallis? Autonomy, making our own decisions, and the cooperation of our staff.
What is your relationship to the community? As we mentioned earlier, we have a commitment to the Beaver sports programs and to offering them quality eye care. We work with the Boys and Girls Club and the Lions Club/Elks Vision Exam Program, offering exams to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the care. We donate glasses. People don’t realize the number one vision problem in the world is people who need glasses and don’t have them.
Do you think your employees are better off working for a local independent rather than a large corporation? The staff at Valley Eye Care is committed to offering their customers the best service because they are regarded as an integral part of the success of the business. They are genuinely happy to be working as a team in a positive office environment.
How important is sustainability to you and your business? It is very important. We have gone paperless with our electronic records, we recycle, and our staff is committed to a sustainable tomorrow.
Give us your one-sentence take-away message about your business. We are here to provide the best eye care; our patients are our primary focus.
(Interview and article by Debra Hascall – July 1, 2014)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance (CIBA).