GIBSONBURG – Veh & Son Furniture bills itself as the best small furniture store around.
“Little” may be a misnomer as the store is 25,000 square feet located in downtown Gibsonburg.
The company had been owned by the Veh family since its inception in 1882. It changed hands in 1988 when Paul and Matt Kohler purchased it from the founder’s grandson.
The brothers were both longtime employees of the store.
“We thought it would be a good opportunity,” Matt Kohler said.
“Ultimately, you run a small business and it has its rewards and challenges. Neither has been lacking over the years,” he said.
Matt Kohler said it was gratifying to see the company grow and prosper while continuing to deliver quality products.
“The challenges have been everything from competition from big box stores and all the gimmicks competing for our consumers’ money,” he said.
The furniture store was closed for seven weeks at the start of the pandemic in 2020, but demand has since skyrocketed, Matt Kohler said.
Even with supply chain issues and difficulty getting inventory, they’ve been able to get creative with inventory management and they’re in pretty good shape, he said.
Matt Kohler added that they are constantly introducing new products to the store, but not as smoothly as in the past.
The 140-year-old company offers custom living and dining room furniture, mattresses, bedroom sets, home office furniture, rugs and window treatments.
Kohler said upholstered furniture is the store’s biggest seller and attributed that to those items that get the most use in an average family household.
“We’re a family business and we’re seeing people appreciate knowing who they’re doing business with more than ever,” he said of the store’s success.
A second generation of Kohlers also works at the store: Paul’s sons, Sam and Johnathan.
The quality products and reasonable prices along with the high level of customer service also help, said Matt Kohler.
The store has knowledgeable sales staff who have been there for years and are there to help and not pressure the customer, he said.
The decision to stay in Gibsonburg, which has a population of about 2,500, was easy to make.
“We love the small town atmosphere,” Matt Kohler said. “It gives us the opportunity to relax and get to know our customers.”
The brothers changed the store’s hours to Monday and Friday, 9-8; and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.