Sixty years ago, my in-laws Saul and Tessie Abramson drove through the sleepy town of Sanford, FL and knew this is where they wanted to open up a flooring store.  Saul, the oldest of five children had worked in his brother Ruby’s store in New York.  His three sisters were also in the flooring and furniture business.  The girls all moved down to South Florida, Ruby stayed in New York.  Driving between his home and South Florida to visit the sisters and his parents whom also had moved south, Saul made the decision to become an entrepreneur and Sanford Carpet was born. 

His wife Tessie worked in the store, and he installed the jobs.  Ira, their son was three when they opened the doors.  I love the stories from customers that tell me about the jobs that were installed by Saul back in the day.  Most of these customers were kids back then.  Saul passed away in 2003 at age 92.  Tessie will be 92 next summer.

Ira started helping in the summers when he was 16 and after college, started working full-time at the store.  His dad was a master installer and taught Ira his skill.  Ira still has some of his father’s tools which he treasures. 

Ira retired his parents in 1994 and I stepped in to help.  I had been working for Tribune Company for almost 12 years when my position was moved to Chicago and I declined the offer to move up there.  My parents also lived nearby and we had a son who had grown up here with all of his grandparents.  There is a lot of value in family and in community and we didn’t want to leave ours.

I never expected to own a small business in a small town but it has been rewarding.  Our store is known by so many of the residents and although the town has grown and the population as well, Sanford Carpet has endured.  When other flooring stores closed during the rough years around 2008, we stayed strong, due in part to our relationship with the community and the history and good work my in-laws had carved out all the years prior.

I am grateful for them and for the opportunity I had to learn to run a business.  We have grown from a small space with rolls of carpet and vinyl on the floor to a store that has a boutique feel and offers Hardwood, Laminate, Tile, Area Rugs, Financing as well as Carpet and Vinyl.

It’s still fun to hear from customers that have had their floors installed previously by Ira too.  Many of our customers know him from growing up with him in Sanford and many have gone to school with him and played basketball or golf with him. 

I think Saul is watching over us and would be proud of the store today.  It is an honor to help the residents and businesses of Sanford and surrounding Central Florida communities with their flooring.    I really enjoy helping our customers with style and color selection, and it’s fun to coordinate the choices with their paint and furniture.  We lead from the heart and over the years have had wonderful staff that does the same.

We have just redone our website,  If you are reading this there, Welcome!  If you found this article somewhere else, please check us out and come in and visit us.

With appreciation!   Barbara Abramson