By SHERI GASSAWAY
Fenton – Nick and Paula Scalfano know a thing or two about the quality craftsmanship that goes into American-made furniture. Combined, they have about 70 years of experience in the home furnishings industry.
That’s why they chose to focus on U.S.-made furniture and mattresses when they opened Furniture Marketplace five years ago. And they’ve continued with that commitment throughout the years – over 95 percent of the store’s inventory is American made.
“The quality of American-made products is so much better in terms of materials, craftsmanship and fine details, and it supports our country and our country’s workers,” Nick Scalfano said. “It’s a win-win-win situation.”
EXPERTS IN THE INDUSTRY
At 16, Nick Scalfano got his start in the industry cleaning floors, unloading trucks and delivering furniture for Scal’s Furniture, a family-owned business founded by his father and grandfather in 1962. It was also a company that focused on American-made products.
Nick naturally evolved into the sales and merchandising side of the business and worked at the store until the Flood of 1993 shuttered the Lemay company’s doors. Afterward, he moved on to several other local furniture stores climbing the career ladder, but his heart was still in the family business.
“I grew up working in a family-owned business around U.S.-made furniture, and I missed the atmosphere and the customer service aspect,” Nick said. “By the time you get into upper management, you don’t get to work with the customers.”
Finally in 2011, Nick and his wife Paula, an interior designer with 33 years of experience, decided to put their talents together and open their own business. You can find them, their two children and another relative at the Fenton showroom on a daily basis.
MIDDLE CLASS UNION FAMILIES
Both Nick and Paula grew up in middle class families with several relatives in the trade unions. Paula’s dad was an iron worker, her uncle was a sheet metal worker and her brother and a brother-in-law were UAW members. Nick’s maternal grandfather was a carpenter.
The couple says they believe the manufacturing jobs that have gone overseas in the last couple decades will come back provided that people continue to buy American.
“The public has to speak with their pocketbooks,” Nick said. “And they do. The only reason we are here is because of our American-made products.”
Furniture Marketplace offers a wide variety of dining room, living room and bedroom furniture and mattresses as well as home accents. It is an authorized dealer of brands including Broyhill, Serta, Catnapper and Archbold Solid Wood. The store also carries many Amish- and Mennonite-built products.
The company specializes in custom-made furniture and provides customers with an array of color, fabric and wood options. The business does not have sales because it offers the best price everyday, and all prices are clearly marked. A discount is available for purchases made with cash, check or debit cards.
Furniture Marketplace offers delivery and set up and is located at 300 Biltmore Drive in Fenton next to Chuck’s Boots. It is open Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store is closed on Sunday.
For more information call 636-326-6444 or visit yourfurnituremarketplace.com.