Hazelwood floor store wins national ‘gold’ award

Find out what else Classique Floors is celebrating this year …

Classique Floors, located in the Hazelwood neighborhood, has been serving the area for 40 years from their outer East Portland locations.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It’s been quite a year for Classique Floors, as the company celebrates their 40th anniversary of being in business.

“We’ve won the ‘Gold Standard” award from the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) – one of only two stores honored each year,” smiled owner Judith Huck.

According to WFCA information, the criteria includes:

  • Knowledge: Knowledgeable management and staff who work to keep actively informed on the industry.
  • Customer Service: Providing courteous service, and offering customers help throughout the purchase process.
  • Quality of Store Image: Maintaining a clean, professional, well-maintained store – both inside and out.
  • Adherence: To the WFCA Code of Conduct.

The company takes as much pride in helping neighbors remodel their homes as they do in installing carpeting and tile in large facilities, such as Portland International Airport, remarks owner Judith Huck.

40 years, three locations
Huck recalled how her parents, not long after immigrating to the United States from England, started the business at NE 173rd Avenue and Halsey Street, and later moved it to SE 142nd and Stark in 1977.

She started working in the business 1993, and purchased it from her parents in 1998. Then, several years ago, Huck moved the business a block west – into the refurbished and historic Heber Brothers Hardware building at SE 141st Avenue and Stark Street.

David Murphy pulls out of its container a roll of carpeting that will soon be installed in a nearby business.

She’s “stuck with it”, Huck grinned, because “I like having a small business, and having a community business, I truly do! We are able to use the business to help our community, and help our customers by doing a great job for them. In turn, our customers are really supportive of us. They come back to us again and again; they refer their friends and neighbors. I love that part of it.”

The store has experienced an increase in sales, and a decrease in problems every year, Huck told East Portland News. “The market for floor covering in home remodeling and home building is strong, so we continue to look forward to be of service.

“We have excellent reviews, because we take care of our customers,” Huck said. “This includes offering a lifetime installation warranty. After we install something for you, for as long as you own that floor, if there is ever a problem due to something that we installed incorrectly, we will take care of it for free for life.”

In the office, bookkeeper Robert Barzler goes over a financial report with owner Judith Huck.

Helping customers get the correct product, as well as the desired color and texture, from their showroom can be as important as providing professional measuring and estimates for customers, Huck pointed out.

“We install most of what we sell; we have both employee installers and subcontractor installers that we know very well,” said Huck. “So, if there’s ever any problem with the installation, you just call us, and we’ll take care of it.”

Community involvement has long been a part of the company’s commitment to the area it serves, observed Huck. “We’re involved with Habitat for Humanity, Snow-Cap Community Charities, neighborhood associations by being a sponsor of their newsletters; we help school sports teams, and have been long involved in the East Gresham and East Portland Chamber of Commerce.”

Standing with some of her employees, Judith Huck says having good workers helps make running a small business worthwhile.

Sometimes being a small business owner “gets on her nerves”, but overall, she reflects, “I feel a lot of satisfaction from what we do. I have a real passion for helping people make their homes beautiful and comfortable giving them a great place to come home to.

“And, I love the staff we have here, they’re great people,” Huck added. “Having a small business makes me feel happy!”

By the way, note that the company name is now officially “Classique Floors + Tile” – intended to let neighbors and contractors know about their expertise in tile work.

To find out more, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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