By Steve Sears
April 1, 1971, was no April Fools’ Day for Richard Yobs Sr.
Yobs, who had spent five years working for a known paint retailer and was a quick learner, had a plan and followed it through. He bought a local, dying paint store in the A&P Shopping Center on Denville’s Route 53.
He had his challenges, the size of the store his first: it was tiny, crowded, and packed. There was also the fact that Yobs had two young children, and no true financial backing.
Then the questions surfaced. What if customers don’t come by? Will the store be noticeable?
Undeterred, Yobs went to work, removing walls and increasing the size of his store, and in addition to selling paint, expanded his products offered to include carpeting, window treatments, ladders, and other supplies.
Painten’ Place was born.
“Then Black Friday hit. What a jolt!” Mary Yobs says. “Downsize now and it was done.”
Several years later, property at 150 Route 53 became available, and Painten’ Place moved across the highway – and faced new challenges. The (new) home had to be remodeled, repurposed for retail, added on for tinting and the stock area, parking lot, and a handicap entrance with outside lighting. On its 25th Anniversary, Painten’ Place unveiled its new store. “A customer whom we had never seen rushed in, all excited. ‘A Benjamin Moore store – wow! I’ve been looking for one!’ We looked at one another and declared, ‘We’re going to make it!” the Yobs family says.
Richard’s daughter, Liz, became involved at the age of 10. “At that time, we got our first computer register,” she recalls. “Every item in the store had to be put into the computer, and given an IS number. There were no SKUs at that time.”
The current Painten’ Place is approximately 2200 square feet, and the local store has a loyal following and clientele, and for good reason. Painten’ Place carries Benjamin Moore Paint, Sikkens Stains, Mohawk Stains and lacquers, over 200 wallpaper sample books, Hunter Douglas Blinds, Norman Blinds and Shutters, Titan spray equipment, Saman Stains, and Old Masters gel stain.
Then there’s the folks on-site. Painten’ Place, looking to add a full-time employee, boasts of an experienced team.
“At this point in time,” Liz says, “in the store we have Chuck, myself and Andrew (third generation). Richard, Mary and Rich Jr., are all quietly behind the scenes helping with building maintenance, banking runs, and sounding board.” She adds, “We know our colors, and are able to help them put their combination together. We custom match paint till we are happy, not when the computer says its a match.”
Painten’ Place also calls home the excellent community of Denville, and is in a great location. Routes 46, 80, 202, and 287 are nearby, ensuring convenient access for their customers’ home needs. In addition to Denville, Painten’ Place clientele come from Mountain Lakes, Rockaway Township, Rockaway Borough, Dover, Randolph, Boonton, Boonton Township, Kinnelon, Parsippany, Morris Plains, Cedar Knolls, Hopatcong, and more.
Painten’ Place recognizes the need to give back to a community that has given much to them in the past 50 years. “Since the beginning, we have supported many local organizations and multiple youth sports teams,” Liz says. “The stairwell to the upstairs has become the ‘Walk of Fame,’ posting most of the pictures of the baseball, softball, soccer, hockey, basketball teams that we’ve sponsored. We’ve donated supplies, paint, and advice to many Eagle Scouts and Girl Scout Gold Awards.”
Painten’ Place continues to cement itself as the neighborhood and beyond store for advice and supplies for maintaining and beautifying your home. “The fact that we have over 98 years combined knowledge in products and experience, we are able to help the customer in detail, step by step,” Liz says.
To learn more about what Painten’ Place has to offer, visit www.paintenplacedenville.com, or call (973) 627-4050.