It’s great being your own boss but even Tom Smith knows there’s the worry about so many things, the stress and trying to learn to live with the stress that accompanies being in charge.
The 25-year owner of Vernon’s Furniture Emporium (New and Used), a fixture on the southwest corner of 31st Avenue and 34th Street in downtown, hears his fishing lines and golf clubs calling him.
Smith has decided to close the emporium his parents started in 1963 at the end of August.
“It was time,” said Smith of his decision to shut the doors for good. “I was showing up three days and would work a couple of hours.”
Smith’s father, Norm, and Norm’s wife, Jean, built the one-level shop in its present location and called it Vernon Furniture Emporium. Vernon was dropped from the title 35 years ago.
The store has been a family affair.
Tom’s brothers, John and Bill, worked there in the early years. Tom worked after school and on Saturdays, and passed that along to his own children, Michael and Maddy, who did the same and spent a lot of time cleaning out fridges and stoves.
It was a quarter-century ago that Tom bought the family business and one thing he’s noticed over the years is the third- and fourth-generation family customers that keep coming to the store.
“People use us for everything,” he said. “We used to furnish cabins on the westside. Our most popular items have probably been deep freezers, hide-a-beds though now it’s mostly Davenports (futons), patio furniture and fridges.”
While he said the time was right to retire, Smith said one of the things he’ll miss the most is the customers.
“I’m really going to miss talking with the people,” he said. “I’d sure like to thank everybody for their patronage over the years.”
A closing out sale at the store is on now until the doors shut permanently.