In 2008 we celebrated our company's 100-year anniversary. Our family and our team take a lot of pride in that. Now, our family's fourth generation is looking forward toward the next 100 years.
Our company began humbly, in 1908, when Abraham “Abe” Bickoff, a Russian immigrant and master carpenter landed in America. With handmade tools and old-world craftsmanship, he began woodworking and performing carpentry jobs. The local need was for hardwood floors, so Abe began and installing floors here in Cleveland just as the housing boom was exploding. He learned English and worked extremely hard. He saved enough to steam his bride across the ocean to join him here, to begin their life as American citizens. Although times were tough, Abe's good skills and reputation for honesty and detail earned respect among other local tradesmen, and his business grew. His family grew, too. His sons were raised with that same ethic, and knew that they would carry the torch one day.
Imagine how floors were sanded prior to electric machines.
Abe had 2 sons, Don and Frank. Frank, had a real knack for working with his hands, and a high school diploma from Cleveland Heights High School. Frank decided to incorporate his book smarts and take the business to the next level. His plan was placed on hold temporarily, because both boys enlisted to fight for our country in World War II. Business would have to wait.
Gotta love the old business cards...sweat stains and all.
Unfortunately, when the war finally ended, Frank was the only son to return alive. The family rallied together to move ahead. Post-Wartime brought prosperity, as soldiers returned home. The industrial advances, that wartime brings, delivered broadloom carpet to everyday people. The business grew from hardwoods and tile to wall-to-wall carpeting. Frank assumed the helm, and slowly built a chain of 4 stores, installing flooring all over northeastern Ohio. Our downtown location was always our strength, housing our workrooms and main warehouse.
Frank Bickoff in Parma, Ohio circa 1948...cool truck.
Frank always surrounded himself with like minded professionals. Honesty and accountability were non-negociable. Abe lived into his mid 90's, never officially retiring. The strength of the company was to be the next generations of family; Frank, his wife Millie, son David, and their son-in-law Jerry Cohen. Jerry joined the family in 1970 and studied Frank's business philosophy, earning a father's respect through good work.
Proud proprietors Frank and his father Abe, circa 1965.
Millie, Frank, and David in our showroom, circa 1972.
Now, Jerry and his son Joshua (3rd & 4th Generations pictured below) personally ensure that the highest standards are maintained. The old fashioned service and quality that our grandfathers believed in, is still our way today...over 100 years later.
Now that our business has reached the 4th generation, we have added something new... an artistic division. Josh's rare blend of artistic ability and thorough knowlegde of all aspects of flooring installation (from growing up in the business) has allowed us to evolve as a flooring company. CustomRugArt.com is our latest evolution, providing unique rugs, designs, and keeping us busy with creative inspiration.
100 years of serving our community, beautifying homes, and making people happy.
"Pride in our family...Pride in our work."
Frank won the flooring bid for an entire Parma, Ohio subdivision...that's a lot of flooring!
Frank would deliver materials to his crews as the sun rose.
Frank is carrying a heavy roll of linoleum through the deep mud.
This is one of our early locations.
Can you see the reflection of the old car in the window?
Sanding wood floors was never easy.
Just imagine doing it without electric tools.
Frank and daughter Donna (Josh's mom) in front of the store, circa 1949.
Frank and his crew, circa 1950's.
These men were proud and respected.
This man is cutting tile. Gotta love this vintage tool.
Setting tile is hard work. Attention to detail means everything.
A hands on approach.
Here is Frank making sure the quality is up to snuff.
Frank was proud to be the local flooring provider to many contractors.
Frank was tireless in his quest for quality.
Another fine job, circa 1950's.
(These are the floors we are currently removing, simply because style and decor have changed.)
These are old business cards and letterheads from years ago.
The brown one in the middle is actually made from a veneer of wood, not paper.
Our store often made the news, making Frank a proud Papa.
(Papa was also the name his grandchildren gave him.)
This is our current location, when it was our new location in the 1960's.
This ad ran in the newspaper in 1976, when Josh was about 3 years old.
P. S. That's a vintage short sleeved turtleneck!