By Cecily Markland
With neatly displayed luggage and backpacks, rows of suits lining the walls, racks of skirts and blouses, white shirts and ties, shoes and everything in between, Pomeroy’s Men’s and Missionary Store stands out as a one-stop shop with a solid reputation as the place to go for outfitting missionaries before they leave for the mission field.
Pomeroy’s manager for 18 years, Doug Wimmer, says, “I love helping the missionaries who come through here, but the most fun is educating our customers and explaining what we do and why.”
The “Pomeroy difference” began with founder and owner, Wayne Pomeroy, now 92, who graduated from Mesa High in 1941, served in the US Air Force in WW II and married Cecil Henri in 1944 when he was home on leave recovering from war wounds. After earning a retailing degree from Brigham Young University and a master’s from New York University, Wayne opened Pomeroy’s Men’s Store in 1951. From the outset, his intent was to offer top quality men’s clothing at fair prices and excellent customer service.
Now, in the same downtown Mesa location, Pomeroy’s specializes in missionary clothing and has outfitted tens of thousands—both elders and sisters—who have served all over world.
Brother Pomeroy, who still works three times a week or more, says, “I’ve been 64 years in this same store,” and his standard, of being “fair, happy and honest,” remains the same as well.
He explains, “I never served an LDS mission, so this is my mission.”
His youngest daughter, Michel Fluhr, has worked with her father for 38 years.
“We are now outfitting the third and fourth generations of missionaries,” she says. “Families often comment how comfortable it is to come in, sit down and do all their shopping at once.”
Pomeroy’s staff are all returned missionaries, well familiar with the quality and features missionaries need.
For example, white shirts are readily available elsewhere, “but they aren’t going to look as nice or last as long as ours,” Doug explains.
“We are known for our two-pant suits with added features, like stretch waistbands and reinforced crotch and pockets,” Michel says. “Our easy care skirts are lined and have pockets, a feature requested by our sister missionaries. We also carry overcoats, shoulder bags and comfortable shoes, all popular items with the sisters.”
Since 2006, Pomeroy’s has been an active participant and only Arizona partner in an association of independent stores operating as “CTR Clothing.” Doug has helped design some of the clothing and the luggage in the CTR line.
“This group has helped increase our buying power, so we are able to continue providing ‘missionary-specific’ features, quality and durability while keeping costs down,” Michel says.
Pomeroy’s, at 136 W. Main Street in Mesa, is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To reach them, call 480-833-0733, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.pomeroysonline.com.