›› bother RICH opened up the Berkshire News in downtown Pittsfield in 1932, when his boy Paul was five years old. When Paul was old enough, he functioned there in the shop, which offered newspapers, tobacco, candy, and greeting cards for more than 40 years.
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Around the same time, Paul’s future father-in-law, Isadore Secunda, ran a service not too much away, offering furniture and also delivering the items by horse and also buggy. He later on moved locations, but Paul came earlier to that same spot at 242 north Street in 983 to open up up what would end up being a Berkshire landmark furniture shop.
Pam and Tom Rich continue to efficiently navigate v the region’s economic challenges. Your successful service includes one expansive showroom displaying top quality furniture, rugs, mattresses, and more.
Paul well-off & Sons—founded by Paul, his wife Betty, and also their son Tom—has been a cornerstone of top-quality furniture in Pittsfield for 38 years. The Rich household legacy not just goes ago nearly 100 years and also is very closely tied to Pittsfield’s service community, that relationships operation deep v its customers, through brands that carries, and with its specialized employees.
Tom married Pam Cianflone in 1988, a Pittsfield native who functioned in retail management and also commercial genuine estate prior to joining the agency in 1995. Together, they operation the family members business, with Pam being the store’s marketing director and also showroom designer.
“She keeps united state all going; she’s the boss,” claims Tom with a twinkle. He’s quick to credit transaction her because that the showroom’s impeccable design. “She really cares, and also it shows.”
The furniture store very first sold moderately priced furniture, cultivation one connection at a time. In the late-1980s, when Paul affluent started selling Shifman Mattresses, he not only ended up being the exclude, Shifman retailer in the Berkshires, he collection in activity a friendship in between the two family members that continues to this day.
“Paul rich & young is a one-of-a-kind place. They room committed to quality and also their customers. You have the right to feel it.” says Bill Hammer, owner the Shifman Mattresses, the 127-year-old, family-owned, handmade mattress company n Newark, N.J.
Also in the 1980s, the Riches introduced high-end out furniture, coinciding v the growth of the second-home sector in the Berkshires. Now it restrict seasonal sales. And also the relationship that started in the 1990s with Manhattan rug firm Marjan international is still a win-win. Tom takes one-of-a-kind, handknotted rugs on consignment.
“They know design, and also they know the Berkshire market,” states Marjan’s director of sales lining Cashin. “We carry them 10 rugs, they sell four, us exchange six. It’s not a short drive up there, but it keeps perform fresh.”
The original Paul rich & Sons an are grew native 10,000 to 30,000 square feet, mainly due to the close up door of Pittsfield’s General electric plant in 1987 and the opening of the Berkshire shopping center in 1988.
“Eight tenants on the block closed one by one,” claims Tom. The store expanded into the spaces emptied by Pal Joey’s, below ’n’ Beef, Kahl’s Jewelers, Pipe and also Pack, and others, knocking down walls till their last renovation in 2007.
Today, the physical space is transformative—the dramatic readjust from sidewalk to store is unexpected. Highlights encompass the main corridor with distinct pieces prefer a bananaleaf ottoman, the huge skylit sunroom filled with rugs, and also the inviting seating section encountering the street. States Pam: “We were the very first area furniture keep to display screen our pieces in totally accessorized settings, which collection us apart from various other furniture stores in the region.”
“In 2007, we were flying high,” says Tom. Through four delivery trucks and 12 males serving a 200-mile radius, they considered additional locations, also moving from Pittsfield come Lenox, however are thankful they did neither.
Tom grimly recalls what happened next.
“The 2008 recession was an eye-opener. Us dropped to 2 trucks and also two delivery men,” he says. But—through the financial downturn in the 1980s, the 2008 recession, and now the pandemic, their viewpoint of high quality products and caring world has stayed constant.
“Committed customer organization is the backbone of ours business,” claims Tom. “Our employees—four through 30 years on the job—start in sales yet grow to care around furniture and also their customers. It’s ours culture.”
Indeed. They work-related with a network of designers from almost everywhere the region. Their comprehensive design center is an excellent place to pick the perfect fabric, produce a family members dining room, or setup a complete redesign.
Tom notes various other longtime businesses still flourishing on phibìc Street, choose Carr Hardware and also Steven Valenti menswear.
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“They’ve survived since they run good businesses,” Tom says. “The brand-new hotel, restaurants, and also theater have all helped. Mill city Capital’s investment in the downtown in recent years has actually made a huge impact. A ibrant downtown is vital to the success of any place.”
The pandemic has been challenging, yet they are working with it. The Riches operated in the store alone for 3 months, comment phones, acquisition orders, discharge trucks.
“We think about ourselves an extremely fortunate to be in this sector in this area best now,” states Tom. “People no traveling or going the end to dinner, yet they are focusing on their homes. The upswing in the real estate market consists of folks from everywhere finding the Berkshires. It’s a testimony to how special this area is.”