Here’s a great example of a locally-owned business that’s succeeded by ‘doing right’ by their clients – and the community …
This decades-old, family-owned business still operates, where it started, in the Hazelwood neighborhood.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
As the second-generation owner of Classique Floors, Judith Huck travels all over the greater Portland area.
But, with her business located in outer East Portland, it may have seemed unusual for her to be invited to attend a luncheon at the Portland Art Museum on May 20.
Between courses, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber spoke about the positive impact of small business on the economy and the community at large.
Then, eight small businesses “champions” were honored.
Invited to the dais, Huck learned she was named the 2013 Portland District Small Business Person of the Year as she accepted her award from Governor Kitzhaber.
“It’s really quite an honor,” Huck told East Portland News.
She recalled how her parents, Lionel and Betty Walklate, started the business – about a block to the east, on SE Stark Street – 36 years ago.
> Read about Classique Floors’ 35 Anniversary
held last year: CLICK HERE.
At the ceremony, Judy Huck receives her award from Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, as SBA officials look on. Oregon SBA photo
In her store, Judith Huck, of Classique Floors, proudly displays the award she was presented, proclaiming her as a U.S. Small Business Administration Small Business Person of the Year.
SBA Acting District Director Robert DuCoté noted that since Huck took over Classique Floors from her parents in 1998, “Company revenues has grown an average of 15 percent annually, ending 2012 at $4.2 million.”
“When I bought the business from my mom and dad, I became their retirement plan,” Huck said. “I think they did make a good investment, at this point! It’s been a pretty good business.
“It was a great opportunity [for me] to take over an existing business that had a really good track record, and good reputation in the community,” She added.
Judith Huck consults with customer Kerry Pioske from Happy Valley.
Even though being a small business owner and hands-on manager has its challenges, Huck said her business provides more satisfaction than can be expressed in dollars and cents.
“Being a small business owner gives me the opportunity to be part of our community, and to support it. In addition to providing jobs, I can do things here, because I have a small business, that I would not be able to do otherwise.”
Huck is well known as a supporter of the East Portland Concerts in the Park, Habitat for Humanity, the Rosewood Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative, and Snow Cap Charities.
“It is an honor to be selected as Oregon’s Small Business Person of the Year,” Huck smiled. “But, I feel just as happy seeing delight on a customer’s face, after we’ve put in flooring or countertops that they love.”
People who shop at Classique Floors agree it’s “The Best Little Floor Store in Town”.
14127 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97233
Visit their website: CLICK HERE.
> For more information about SBA tools and programs,
visit the Portland District Office webpage: CLICK HERE.
© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News