MILL HALL — There’s just something about that name… and that location.
So says Jim Smith about the decision he and his brother Jeff have made to rebuild Smith’s Furniture Store on the same Dunnstown site where their father first built the landmark store more than 70 years ago.
“Oh, yes… we want to keep the business going… and we want to keep it over there,” Jim said Friday as he talked about the family business that is so important to him and Jeff.
They pretty much grew up in the business that their father Russell started in 1942 and their passion and joy has continued all these years, until Dec. 17, when the roof collapsed from the heavy snow of Winter Storm Gale, leaving the showroom portion of the store along Woodward Avenue destroyed.
The news was devastating, but they were determined to get their business up and running again as soon as possible and then rebuild the store that carries the family name exactly where their father built his store.
They’ve accomplished their first goal.
On Monday at 9 a.m. Smith’s Furniture Store will reopen in the former Eagle Valley Bargains store next to Calico Creek in Mill Hall.
Although the temporary store will serve them well, Jim has already talked to a contractor and hired an architect to begin drawings for the new store to be built at the original site.
But Jim and his staff couldn’t wait until then to get back to work.
They know the furniture business. They know the customers and they don’t want to lose either.
Jim said he has leased the space from Ernie Renninger until next March, anticipating the new store in Dunnstown could be built in about a year.
Meanwhile, he said customers will be pleased with the vastness and layout of the new location and the employees are anxious to get back to work. They were busy Friday moving more furniture into the store, filling out tags and waiting for the final touches to be put on the office area.
“Jim will even have his own office,” one employee said, remembering the small office area in the former store.
“It’s perfect for a furniture store,” Jim said, as he pointed to the different areas for bedroom furniture, couches and recliners, dining room furniture and more.
“We’ve got all the same quality brands of furniture our customers want,” Jim said, naming a few, like Lane, Best, Catknapper, Serta and Kings Down.
Jim said the roof collapse basically destroyed all the living room and dining room furniture in the showroom at the front of the store. But most of the bedroom furniture in the back room was salvaged because the roof over that room remained intact. And Jeff’s reupholstering and repair shop still stands untouched. It’s in a separate building behind the former store and Jeff is continuing to work there.
Jim and his team are excited about how far they’ve come since the roof collapsed and invite everyone to stop by.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
“We’ve still got the same quality furniture and brand names… and kind, helpful employees,” Jim said, looking around the vastness of the new showroom.
“I might just want to open a second store here,” he said with a grin.
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