Bruce Talbott bought into TAFF Furniture in 2000, along with Don Blankman and Taff family member Joe, a third-generation owner.
"I'd been an employee with TAFF since 1986," Talbott told the Daily News. "I worked in sales for several years and then was store manager of our stores in Rushville and Batesville, so I knew the business well and believed in it."
Talbott's long been fascinated by the history of the building that houses TAFF Furniture.
"The Taff family has owned and sold furniture in this building since 1935," he said. "But this building's history as a furniture store goes back quite a bit further. Furniture has been sold from this location 100 years."
"The history is especially impressive," he continued, "considering that we're in a small-town market. Whereas other businesses in small-town markets tend to wither and die Ñ especially with the economy over the last several years Ñ we've been able not only to survive, but to thrive."
Talbott credited TAFF's longevity and success to a number of factors, including the store's extensive product inventory.
"We also offer free delivery," he added, "to a seven-county area, including Decatur, Ripley, Rush, Franklin, Fayette, Shelby and Bartholomew Counties. We do quite a few deliveries to Columbus."
He continued, "Don and I work the sales floor everyday. That gives us a chance to interact with and really listen to our customers. We stay extremely focused on the business, and we don't experiment with wild purchases; we stick with what sells."
Talbott and Blankman's belief, hand work and focus recently paid off in a big way.
On April 21, TAFF Furniture was awarded the La-Z-Boy "Top Single Store Operation" in the Midwest Region.
"This is by far the most significant award we've ever earned at TAFF," Talbott explained. "To even be eligible, you're store has to have a minimum of 4,000 square feet of La-Z-Boy products displayed in room settings, which are called vignettes."
According to award materials provided to the Daily News, TAFF currently displays 6,000 square feet of La-Z-Boy products Ñ nearly a quarter of the the 25,000-square-foot facility.
"This award signifies that we sold more La-Z-Boy product then any other store in our region classified as a La-Z-Boy Comfort Studio," Talbott said. "We couldn't be more pleased."
He continued, "We thank our customers for allowing us to serve them and to earn this award from La-Z-Boy; it wouldn't be possible without you. You're the reason our La-Z-Boy sales increased 74% in 2011. We've worked very hard to earn your trust and repeat business. So thank you."
For more information on TAFF furniture, visit the store in person at 115 West Main Street, call 663-7042 or visit www.tafffurniturestore.com.
Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.