History of AA Computers, Inc.

In the fall of 1993 Ed Van Kirk and Elbert Dickerson opened a computer store in a pizza restaurant located in Archdale, North Carolina. In a time when computer prices were an average of $1,500 to $2,000, Ed and Albert were selling used systems for $500 and $600 off the counter in the restaurant. The success of these sales prompted Ed, also the owner of the restaurant, to enclose part of the basement as a computer store. As word got around of the small business the customer base grew and more time was needed to properly run the store. Elbert Dickerson, having his own music business decided that he'd rather concentrate his time on one business, instead of spreading himself thin with two. He sold out of his portion of Archdale Affordable Computers in June of 1994.

Ed also with a business of his own to run decided to bring his son, Brian Van Kirk, into the business at this time. Brian was 16 at this time getting ready to enter his junior year in high school. With Ed running the pizza business and Brian still in High School the business was at best part time. As the business wasn't a primary source of income for either , prices stayed reasonable and the lack of overwhelming business insured a quick turnaround time on service and customer built units. With both of those factors in play the business could only grow.

By the end of 1994 eighty-hour weeks were beginning to take their toll on Ed. The Covered Bridge Pizza Palor business was sold at the end of 1994. Ed's knowledge of the business and machinery used in the business insured the computer store of their spot in the basement. The business, which prospered under Ed's ownership, started to fall under its new owners. October of 1995, after only ten months the pizza parlor shut down for good.

The owner of the property requested that we keep our business up and running to keep an eye on the building. The deal being we would promise to stay in the building until it was sold and the computer store in turn would be allowed to move upstairs. The dramatic increase in space and better visibility allowed the business to prosper. Ed had taken a job with the maintenance department of a local furniture company. His hard work and good attitude insured his quick rise in the international company. With his promotion to supervisor of the 3 rd shift Ed was able to open the store the hours that Brian was in school. This marked the first time the business ever had hours that could be considered full time.

The spring of 96 saw Brian's graduation from High School. From this point on he'd be working full time in the business. Business exploded that summer as more time could be invested into the store. With the arrival of fall Brian returned to school at a local community college but was still able to open the store by noon. Ed had returned to 1st shift work with another promotion and was getting into the store about 5pm each day and working on the weekends. With his knowledge of business management, which he'd learned from being in business for himself since the age of 16, Ed was able to keep the business on track and let Brian concentrate on the day to day running of the business.

The owner of the building came to North Carolina in the fall of 1996 and informed Ed and Brian that since the building hadn't sold in the year it had been on the market it must be do to having the computer occupying it. They were given two months to vacate the building. As if another's hand was on the situation, a building opened up for rent just down the road. Opening in November of 1996 in the current location, Archdale Affordable Computers would double it's sales from those of the previous year.

AA Computers, Inc. was born in February of 1996. Ed Van Kirk was named as President and Brian Van Kirk as Vice President. The name change was partially brought on by need to separate the name from that of a competitor in the neighboring town of High Point. Too many times confusion had resulted in customers going to the wrong store and ending up disappointed in the service received.

The fall of 97 presented a new business opportunity for the duo. A computer store was offered for sale in the nearby town of Lexington . Never ones to leave an opened door unexplored Lexington Affordable Computers would open in January of 1998. Brian became the store manager of the Archdale location and Ed would take over the Lexington operation. Never able to be set with what was previously accomplishment and with a need to move to Pennsylvania, Ed would start laying foundation for a third store in the fall of the same year.

A major stumbling block in growing companies is the employees. A bad manager can ruin your business, and reputation in no time at all. Lucky for Brian and Ed, Larry Samuels was around. After training at the Archdale location with Brian for the technical aspects of the business during the fall, Larry moved onto the Lexington store for on site administrative training under Ed. Larry already had many years of sales experience under himself that has become more and more evident in the skill in which he runs the Lexington store.

January 1 st , 1999 Affordable Computer of Pennsylvania opened for business under Ed. This marked the 2 nd store opening for the corporation in as many years.  This store in Wyomissing Pa was evidently sold by Ed and he focused more on the outside service
aspect of the computer repair business.

Lane Foushee took over management duties in the Lexington store in the early summer of 2007.  Larry focuses now on outside service as Ed migrated too as well from the Wymossing store.  With now almost a year under his belt the young man has shown he has the knowledge, customer skills and right idea for business already.  The store has shown constant and improving sales as the coompetition in the town has thinned out.

In the fall of 2007, Ed moved back to North Carolina and is currently handling all administractive aspects of the business.  The last 8 years has brought many changes to the fundamentals of the computer business in general.  Emphasis is now more on service then sales.  This trend that started back as early as the early 2000s, and has grown more so with the advent of spyware and malware as well as the viral threat.