L33t Box Computers finds new home in Spokane Valley
Veteran-owned business started in owner’s home
Dylan HarrisMay 25th, 2023
Ray Boston’s computer retail and service business, L33t Box Computers, has evolved from his home to a brick-and-mortar store in Spokane Valley.
The business moved to its new 1,500-square-foot location at 12308 E. Broadway, at the southeast corner of Broadway Avenue and Pines Road, in April after operating as a home-based business since 2016.
“It was kind of a side business, more for a little extra cash on the side,” Boston says.
He says that his home was full of computer parts, tools, and spare equipment, so he and his wife, Kelly, decided it was time to lease a store space.
Boston services all types and brands of computers and builds custom computers suited to customers’ needs, he says. L33t Box Computers also sells refurbished computers, including laptops, and offers data recovery services.
“My bread and butter, the one thing that I’m trying to focus on the most, is custom gaming builds and working with gaming systems,” he says.
Boston also installs and services home-automation systems, including Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, smart thermostats, automatic door locks, and security systems, he says.
“I do a lot of home support. I travel to customers’ locations to take care of pretty much anything they could need,” he says.
The idea to start L33t Box Computers derived from Boston’s passion for computers. The first part of the name for the business, pronounced “Leet,” is a play on computer-community lingo for “Elite,” he explains.
According to his company’s website, Boston was intrigued by computers at a young age, disassembling and reassembling them to learn about hardware interaction. He later served for 12 years in the Air Force, working on servers, network administration, and cybersecurity.
L33t Box Computers offers network support and computer repair services for businesses in addition to serving individual customers.
Along with regular maintenance, the store also offers emergency services for businesses. If a business’s cash register goes down, for example, Boston can come and fix or replace the system on short notice, so operators can resume working, he says.
“I can go into a business and minimize downtime,” he says. “The idea is I can go in while they’re open and take care of something right (away).”
Boston says that aside from servicing smart phones, he can do pretty much any type of computer-related work.
Product prices at L33t Box Computers vary widely, Boston says. The refurbished computers start at about $200 to $300, and the custom-made computers can cost thousands of dollars, depending on what customers request.
Boston charges $60 per hour for his services, plus the cost of parts. He offers a quick-fix service, in which he only charges $20 if he can resolve the problem within 15 minutes. He contends that offer is unusual in the industry.
He also cleans out every computer that he services to keep them running properly.
L33t Box Computers doesn’t charge customers if he just looks at their computers, but doesn’t perform any work on them, he says.
Boston says that the demand for computer-related services in the Spokane area is surprisingly high.
“Even while I was still working out of the house … I got enough business to keep a steady client base,” he says.
Boston plans to bring his services to smaller towns in surrounding areas, he says. He has converted an old ambulance into a mobile computer shop equipped with all the tools he needs, a power source, and internet access.
“I’m going to be able to take that to locations that don’t have computer service, like Ephrata, Deer Park, Moses Lake,” Boston says.
He says that a lot of smaller cities don’t have many computer-related services available.
Boston and his wife currently are the store’s only employees. Boston says he’d like to hire more employees when his business grows. He also plans to increase the store’s inventory now that he has a larger space, he says.
“This is only the beginning,” he says.
L33t Box Computers is open 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Atilano’s Mexican Food opened a new location last week at 2026 N. Argonne Road, in Spokane Valley, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page. Atilano’s now has eight locations in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area.