In March 1986, Ron and Cheri Chytka took a chance at starting their own business. A chance that has proven to be an excellent move.
The Chytkas have held to their philosophy of “Having good quality furniture at a fair price, and you’ll get repeat customers” and opening two stores - one in Broken Bow and one in Ord - and after 25 years of business, it seems to have worked for them.
In March 1986, Chytka’s leased a building from Keith and Maxine Glaze, and at that point, every piece of furniture they had filled the front windows. There was no big showroom full of merchandise. What you saw in the windows is what they had.
Cheri adds, “We appreciate the opportunity Keith and Maxine Glaze gave us.”
Gradually they added to their merchandise and in 1991 expanded to the south side of the building. In 2000, they added a warehouse to keep all the merchandise. Ron says it was a challenge to keep things going some days, but adds “If you can make it through the bad, you should make it through the good.”
Eighteen years ago they added the Ord store. Having two stores has benefitted them not only by being able to serve a greater area, but it allows them to purchase in larger quantities. Purchasing in larger quantities means a lower cost to them, which they can pass on to the customer.
Another benefit to having two stores is having two showrooms. Allowing them to display much of their merchandise as opposed to having it stored in the warehouse.
Today when you look in the store-front windows you will see many displays that not only fill the windows, but the entire showroom floor behind them. They are the kind of displays that make you feel like you could curl up with a good book and a blanket on an over-stuffed couch.
Family Furniture of Broken Bow and Ord works with many different kinds of manufacturers. It is important to Ron and Cheri to keep looking for new vendors to find the best product, at the best price.
At Family Furniture it is all about customer service. They know that you may fall in love with a particular chair, but maybe not the way it is covered. They will help you pick which cover will best suit you and your home and order it for you.
Mattresses and recliners are currently their best selling products, but it is important to keep up on what is out there for merchandise. Ron and Cheri try to go to at least one major furniture, and one major flooring market at least once a year.
Recognizing that moving furniture can be troublesome for most people, and the fact that many of their customers are from out of town, they will deliver when needed. Although they have delivered as far north to Rapid City, S.D., and south into Kansas, their average radius would be between 100 and 150 miles.
Sometimes the best schooling is “on the job training”. That is exactly what Ron and Cheri have done. Through getting to know their customers, attending seminars and keeping up-to-date with articles on new merchandise, they have been able to obtain a fresh concept on the furniture business.
Currently they employ three full-time and one part-time employees in Broken Bow, and two part-time employees in Ord. Sometimes in the summer you may even find their boys on a few deliveries.
Cheri and Ron have taken an opportunity and made it a success.
“We are very thankful for the support of our customers, family and friends over the past 25 years.” Cheri continues, “The Sandhills area is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. We hope to be here for many more years to come.”