The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Steve Salins

Gigamedics owner aims to serve Ritzville community


Journal photo by Steve Salins

Above, Cory Bartlett oversees his business, Gigamedics, in its new location. Bartlett believes that forging good relationships is key to running a successful business.

There's a new sign in town: "Gigamedics," which marks the new location of Ritzville Computers after they moved a couple of blocks south on Main Street from the corner of Division Street and Main Avenue.

Cory Bartlett, proprietor of Gigamedics, explained how he got the rather unusual name. He and his daughter were discussing potential names, and began kicking around doctor-related names because they wanted a name that reflected the world of computers while at the same time reflecting the diagnosing and repairing components. Bartlett, in fact, has a doctorate in education.

So Dr. Bartlett checked out "computer doctor" and found way too many such names already in use. They evaluated Megamedics and Terramedics, but both were oft-used and not very clearly connected to the computer world. However, Gigamedics seemed an appropriate computer-related moniker, and no other business had coined the name. The new sign has been mounted for a couple weeks, although the business is trademarked as "Ritzville Computers," because that's what they do.

Bartlett is nearly a local lad, having grown up in Elk, Washington after his birth in Spokane. He attended Riverside High School, where he played football and baseball, being selected as an All-State third basemen in the latter. During his formative years he spent vacations at a Manhattan, Kansas computer store that was owned by his father and uncle, where he began his technical education.

Along the way in high school, he had his own band at age 15, and over time has written over 300 songs – primarily country and blues. He continues to play now with The Old Dogs band. Bartlett was raised by a single mom, and, typical of young fellows at that time, he covered his feelings. But music became an outlet for him. He recalls when a high school girlfriend signed him up for the school choir. At the time, he wanted to be another Garth Brooks, whom he hugely admired. He recalls that teaching himself to play the guitar and writing poetry helped him in those years.

Bartlett describes himself as an entrepreneur and recalls that as a kid he sold football and baseball cards out of his bedroom to his friends. He says that he always thought he could do things in a way to benefit others and still provide for himself. He told a story of how he traded a Reggie Jackson baseball card to a friend in exchange for a small Honda motorcycle. He got rid of the motorcycle long ago, but says his friend still has the valuable Reggie Jackson baseball card.

The entrepreneurial spirit surfaced when Bartlett restored a shuttered dilapidated grocery store in Elk, saving the building from being demolished. He managed the place from 2008 to 2011 until another local grocery store installed a large cooler for beer sales, and his store could no long compete. He took over the store in order to provide work for his father, who had fallen on hard times but wasn't yet eligible for social security.

Bartlett married his wife, Melody, in 1996. Being as the couple wanted to travel and chase the music scene, they ended up living with Melody's parents in Haynesville, Louisiana, helping them run several pizza restaurants. In 2000, Cory got a job at KXLY Radio in Spokane, selling radio advertising that kept him involved in the music community.

He was taking night classes at Eastern Washington University, when a teacher told him, "You are an educator." He changed his marketing/business courses to allow him to become certified as a teacher. Bartlett earned a Bachelor of Arts in education in 2003 and went to teach at Deer Park, his high school's rival growing up. 2011 brought him a great job offer from Kahlotus as a CTE director and teaching business and technology education.

The computer service began in the Bartlett garage, as many small businesses do. From the beginning, Bartlett has held that forging good relationships is more valuable than sales and other elements of a business. He also believes "that people are here to serve one another." He points to service opportunities as a business owner, teacher, father and son.

He reflects back on his decision to refurbish the Elk store to serve his father as an example. A further example is that Gigamedics takes in old and used computer equipment, refurbishes the item and either sells or gives the item to those in need or on low budgets. He points out that in today's world, a computer is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to function in society. Thus he sees his business as providing a necessary service to the public. Along the same line, Gigamedics offers payment plans. With 50% down, Gigamedics finances the remainder of the cost in-house for residents in the area.

The new office/showroom allows Gigamedics plenty of room to conduct business. They can custom build, repair or order anything connected with computers. They are purchasing many items from Bob's Radio Shack, and hope to expand that inventory to more completely meet customer demand. The repair service now includes cell phones, including replacement screens. In addition to shop work, Bartlett is willing to take on in-home or on-site repair work, network support and makes himself available 24/7 for critical emergency calls.

Gigamedics is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and can be reached via phone at (509) 659-0911.


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