More and more people are interested in building patios, outdoor fireplaces, and retaining walls made of block or brick. And since last year, a long time Pittsburgh company has been providing the materials and advice to complete those projects, from a showroom in Millcreek. And business has been strong.

 Until the Millcreek store opened, Lampus Direct had only used distributors to sell block products made in its 7 regional plants.

 Executive Vice-President Bill Stevens said, "We had this idea for some time for an outlet where we could go directly to a contractor or a consumer, get feedback from them, try new products which we have introduced here in Erie. And we took the lead to move ahead an open it up. If customers  are looking for an authorized contractor we have a long list of contractors who will gladly help out with the installation. If they are looking to do it themselves we will come out, take measurements, consult, show them what to do, when to do it, and how to get there."

 Customers who purchase products avoid a middleman. Everything except the bricks are made by Lampus Direct.

 Store Manager Darren Poplin said, "We manufacture all of our own masonry units, hardscape products, retaining walls, paver patio stones, fire pits and fireplaces."