Bath masters

Downtown soaks up idea of bathtub retailer

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 at 10:03 p.m.
Finding just the right location to set up a family-owned business involves many factors.
But when it came time for Bruce Nelson and Pat Stuart to open PFA Systems Inc. - The Bath Masters, a retail supplier of bath tubs and fixtures, downtown Newberry was their choice.
"We liked this area because of the growth on the western Gainesville fringe," said Nelson. "We had three different offers for storefront locations, but we chose Newberry."
Nelson worked as a supplier for whirlpool jetted bath tubs for more than 35 years before he and his wife decided to open their own storefront. The couple has lived between Newberry and Archer for 30 years.
Proximity to Gainesville was only part of the reason for their choice. The 3,000-square-foot building appealed to them because of the location on Newberry Road near the center of town.
And Newberry city officials liked the idea of someone fixing up the old convenience store that had been vacant for a number of years.
Both Nelson and Stuart explained they could have put the store anywhere, but they chose Newberry very carefully.
"We were wanted in Newberry," said Nelson. "They were anxious for the building to be cleaned up.
"Lowell Garrett (Newberry city planner) was so informative and cooperative and polite and nice to work with," said Nelson.
The showroom always has more than 40 tubs on display, among them several working tubs. Models include MR Tubs Inc., Natural Whirlpool Baths, claw-footed tubs, slipper tubs and hot tubs.
The store also features a great variety of antique fixtures as well as salts and scents imported from Japan for use in jetted baths.
The store opened the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Patricia C. Behnke can be reached at or (352) 222-2508.

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