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Suncoast starts new company

Fort Myers, Fla.-based Suncoast Furniture debuted products from its new company, Suncoast International, during the Chicago premarket last month. The new line includes wicker dining and deep seating groups, a first for the company, as well as value-priced cast and extruded aluminum furniture.

Heading Suncoast International will be Rick Baker, Suncoast Furniture's current national sales manager and former president of the Casual Furniture Retailers Association and vice president of Patio Enclosures in Macedonia, Ohio.

"The company is planning for its future," Baker said. "I am excited to be a part of the growth and look forward to many new products that we will be offering in the future."

Baker added consumer demand for wicker and deep seating products spurred ideas for the new company. "We needed more to our line," he said. "We have extended it through bringing in wicker out of China and adding wicker seats to some of our furniture."

Any Chinese products previously in the Suncoast Furniture line will be moved under the new company, while cast aluminum will remain as a "premium line." Suncoast Furniture also will introduce three collections for 2007, including two deep seating groups. The company will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2007.

"My vision to move Suncoast forward into the future has become a reality," said Paul Varshney, president and CEO.

Suncoast will exhibit its products during The International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market in Chicago Sept. 13–16, showroom 17-105.

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