WEST ORANGE, NJ – Mayor Robert Parisi, members of the Downtown West Orange Alliance (DWOA), local business owners, family and friends joined the owners of American Medical Equipment (AME), a medical supply store located at 480 Valley Road, as it officially opened its first storefront with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“We are always excited when people are willing to invest in West Orange,” said Parisi. “I will tell you, it's a very different type of business than we do ribbon cuttings for, but it clearly fills an important need in a lot of people’s lives. I myself have had to count on similar supplies in the past, so it's nice that they're here and hopefully people in this community will see value here.”
While servicing home elevators for several years, Simon Peters Sr. recognized a need for the services AME provides. He ultimately transitioned to servicing medical equipment and founded the company in 2009.
“As you go into people’s homes, you begin to see the need for other things; [and] as you see the need, you begin to ask questions and by virtue of the answer it pushes you to get stuff that you didn’t plan on having in the beginning,” said Peters. “If they have an elevator or if they have a stairlift, chances are they’re going to need a wheelchair—because if there’s a problem getting upstairs, there might be a problem getting around or getting in their vehicle.”
According to Peters, AME initially focused on supplying, installing, repairing and troubleshooting medical mobility equipment such as manual and motorized wheelchairs, stairlifts, chair lifts, ramps, motorized scooters and other medical supplies.
But seeing that the business was too small to solely operate from AME’s office on 359 S. Jefferson Street in Orange, Peters decided that it was time to expand to a larger location with a showroom so that consumers could see what is in stock.
“We realized that people wanted hands-on experience with the products, so we realized that we needed a store,” said son and assistant manager, Simon Peters Jr., adding that the business will continue sell items “by doing on-call orders,” but that having a physical location will give consumers immediate access the items they need. “People can come in, try out something, see how something works and rent or buy something that we have here on hand.”
AME provides a variety of services to a wide range of people, including those who are disabled, physically challenged, temporarily indisposed, or in need of supplies that are usually found at drug store chains.
“We're going to be selling basic stuff that you run to Walgreens for,” said Peters Sr. “We're going to be stocking those as well, because we want to be the community medical supply store, not just for the big wheelchairs, but for stuff…that people need every day.”
In addition to providing installations, AME also helps consumers with their product’s warranty and provides free home-safety evaluations, pickup and delivery and in-home service repairs.
Falling in line with the company motto, “We Keep You Moving,” Peters Sr. said that everything he does in-store and through his delivery van helps people so that they can retain a sense of normalcy.
“We’re here to make people’s lives easier,” Peters Jr. said.
AME does not currently accept Medicare and Medicaid but is expected to in the coming months.
In addition to providing in-home service repairs throughout New Jersey, AME will also do so for anyone living within a 50-to-70-mile radius in New York, Pennsylvania or Connecticut.