OTTAWA — Heringhaus Furniture in Ottawa has been meeting the furniture needs of customers for the past 113 years.
Jim Heringhaus, owner, said the business was opened in 1907 by his grandfather Ben Heringhaus. Ben opened the business next door to where the store is currently located, 214 E. Main St., Ottawa.
Jim Heringhaus said the furniture store is the oldest independently owned home furnishing store in Ohio.
In 1926, the business moved to its current location. The business started out as Heringhaus and Pope and in 1939 became Heringhaus and Son Furniture.
In 1952, Jim’s father, Bob Heringhaus, became the business’s sole owner and named the business Heringhaus and Son Furniture, a name that remained that name until 1970. The business celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2007.
Heringhaus markets to customers in Putnam County as well as Findlay, Lima and Defiance.
“We sell upper-middle class furniture and carry La-Z-Boy furniture, which is one of our major lines,” Heringhaus said. Flex Steel is also a popular brand that he described as high quality. The business sells sofas, chairs and recliners.
In 1980, Bob Heringhaus retired, and his sons Jim, Don and Bernie purchased the business.
In 1986, the brothers purchased the building next door from Tom Doepker, and the middle room was remodeled into a showroom and turned into a decorating center.
In 2001, Don Heringhaus retired as partner, and Jim Heringhaus became the sole owner, with his sons Adam and Ross and daughter Gretchen working in the family business part-time, becoming the fourth generation of Heringhaus family members in the business.
The business hired its first designer in 1990 and today employs several interior designers and decorators. They work with customers to ensure they get the products they desire. The business has 10 employees consisting of salespeople and delivery employees.
Bedroom furniture is available, including Serta and White Dove mattresses, as well as tables and lamps. Accessory options for sale are lamps, dining room tables and carpet. The business also helps with wallpaper, paint, linoleum, carpet and ceramic tile.
“We are a very complete home furnishing store,” Jim Heringhaus said. “Customers can get the complete package, and my sales reps work with the customers to find out if they are working on a living room, bedroom or dining room.”
He said the business’s goal is to provide the complete package and assist in the decorating challenges homeowners run into, helping put colors and patterns together.
“It’s a people business where we are one on one with customers, and many of the customers become friends who keep coming back to you,” Jim Heringhaus said.
When asked how the business has been able to be profitable all these years, Jim Heringhaus said it is about customer service.
“My father always said you have to provide the customer with a quality product at a fair price,” Jim Heringhaus said.
Store hours are 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays; 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.