Issue 51: Featured Store (Gomberg Kites)

Each month we’ll be featuring one of the fine retailers who have been so supportive of Kitelife and other areas of the kiting community…The retailers you’ll find here are established, proven vendors.

Gomberg Kite Productions Intl.

We are Gomberg Kite Productions International (GKPI) from Neotsu Oregon. Look for us on any global map where the 45th Parallel (half-way between the Equator and the North Pole) reaches the Pacific Ocean. That line is 100 meters from our office! We aren’t designed for walk-in visitors, but you can see us any time at

Floor space:

We have two warehouses, a shipping center, an administrative office, and three production facilities. There is no floor space left because of all the kites we stock! And because in addition to direct retail sales, we are one of the primary kite wholesalers in the USA, we have more kites in inventory than any other “store” in the country.

Hours of operation:

Gomberg Kites answers the phone from 8 am to 7 pm Monday thru Saturday. When we are traveling to kite events, we check voice mail daily and return calls. Our web page is “open” 24 hours a day. And we strive to answer all emails within 24 hours no matter where we are on the planet.

Years in business:

We started as Cascade Kites in 1986. But as we grew in the 90’s we realized that people knew us but not the name of our business. Susan was watching Martha Stewart on TV while reading her magazine at the same time when the idea came for a name change. Gomberg Kite Productions was incorporated in 1996.

Years advertising with Kitelife:

We have been with KiteLife since day-one and have provided articles for every single issue.

Favorite issue of Kitelife:

The next one, of course!

Owner(s) and/or manager:

David and Susan Gomberg. David is 53 and Susan is in her prime.

Favorite food(s):

David enjoys spicy Thai. Susan likes creative vegetarian.

Last book read:

David – The DaVinci Code; Susan – Memoirs of a Geisha. Before that – the Kite Runner

Favorite kite web site:

Favorite flying spot:

We’ve been privileged to fly in an awful lot of places – the amazing festivals of Japan; the Great Wall of China; the wide beaches of Berck; the roaring winds of Tasmania; frozen lakes in Canada; and topless beaches in Miami. We’ve performed for Disney, the London Millennium, and the Super Bowl.

We’ve covered 30 states and 25 countries. And I can tell you with certainty that the best kiting is not about location, but about the people you share it with..

Specialty of the store:

We make and sell Serious Kites for Serious Kitefliers. And as most readers know, we specialize in the big stuff – lifters, laundry and inflatables. That’s the product we specialize in. But I’d like to think our real store specialty is service and support.

Motivation for opening a kite business:

In our ‘previous life’, David was an Administrative Judge for the State of Oregon. He had worked in the Legislature and run political campaigns. Susan was on the Secretary of State and Governor’s staff. Both of us wanted the flexibility and independence of our own business.

Cascade Kites began self-publishing books on how to fly Sport Kites.

Kiting isn’t just what we do – it is who we are. Kite flying, kite designing, kite clubs, kite events, and now our kite business. We’re fortunate to be able to combine what we love doing with what we do to pay the bills.

Most important advice ever received:

“There’s a sucker born every minute!” Naw – just kidding! Best advice was “The customer isn’t always right, but you need to treat them like they are always right.”

Nicest sale ever made:

Sometimes the phone rings and you find yourself talking to someone you have never met. But you can sense the excitement in their tone and the pattern in their questions. They buy something and call back a few weeks later and then a few weeks after that. And over time, you meet them at a festival, work together on a display, and perhaps travel together. They go from strangers to customers to friends. That happens a lot and it is the nicest part of being in the kite trade.

Best fringe benefit as owner/manager:

We have more kites than anyone we know!! Lol

The downside is that David doesn’t get enough time in his garden and Susan doesn’t volunteer for the Humane Society as much as she’d prefer. The dog and four cats take all the extra time we have!