SEASIDE - Roehm Furniture Company will shut its doors for good Thursday after 62 years of business in Seaside.
Bob Baker, who has been the owner since 1990, said the store has been at its current location, 810 Broadway Drive, since 1965. Baker is selling the business in order to live full-time with his family in Dallas, Texas.
"It's been difficult to run the business for nine years from such a distance," he said. "As good as my employees have been, an owner really needs to be there for a sense of the day-to-day operations. And when I'm here, I'm missing
my kid's plays and baseball games."
Bob BakerBaker is offering all remaining merchandise and furniture at 60 to 80 percent off original prices and customers may name their own price. No reasonable offer will be refused, although Baker hopes to sell pieces at least at cost.
Baker, who has worked in the Seaside
furniture business since 1978, has seen a many furniture trends come and go. One of the most amusing trends, he said, was the late 1970s faux fur fabric craze. Manufacturers covered large modular units called conversation or "love" pits with the fabric. Colors have changed as well. The 70s featured bright greens, golds and browns and have transitioned over the years from earth tones to the blues and pinks popular in the 90s. Now colors have switched back to earth tones in brown, green and gray.
But some of the biggest changes have come in Seaside itself.
"When I started here, Seaside was kind of run down," he said. "There were a lot of smoky taverns. But the city has really cleaned up its act and there's been really good leadership. The new lights, the new sidewalks are an indication that the city is rolling out the welcome mat to its visitors."
Roehm Furniture Company was established in April 1941, when Charles Roehm bought the furniture business from Louie J. Klink. According to Polk's Clatsop County Directory Records located at the Seaside Museum, Klink had operated a furniture business in Seaside as early as 1920, originally with carpenter Solomon Diebel. The business was then located at 735 Broadway Drive, the current location of the Seaside Moose Lodge.
When Baker bought the business in 1990, he decided to keep the Roehm name after speaking with long-time customers who told him stories like "well, my grandpa bought a mattress from Roehm's back in the 40s." Keeping the name maintained business recognition and nostalgia.
Baker said one of the things he'll miss most about working in Seaside is his loyal customers. He's gotten to know many on a first-name basis and has enjoyed fishing and clamming adventures. He's also been involved in the Seaside Rotary and other civic activities.