By Cheryl Conway
For those who don’t know, there is a furniture store in the near vicinity that not only provides quality but affordability.
With roots that date back to 1943, Berk’s Furniture & Mattress in Hackettstown provides the best in brand name furniture all at a discounted price. With 22,000 square feet of space, the store features “a huge mattress department,” as well as a brand new reclining gallery.
Why travel east, to other parts of New Jersey, or to other states’ furniture stores if a local business can provide the same product, provide quicker delivery and all for a lower price?
“I truly believe shopping local is important,” says Amy Berkowitz of Green Twp., co-owner of Berk’s Furniture & Mattress along with her brother and business partner, Justin Berkowitz of Andover. “Everyone we employ is local. It goes back straight into the community. You don’t have to travel to get the same deals; they’re right here in your backyard.”
Shopping at Berk’s has its perks.
“We are your local discount furniture store,” says Berkowitz. “We have the same thing at better pricing; 100 percent satisfaction is our goal.”
Formerly called HTP Clearance and Consignment in business for the past four years, the Berk’s changed its store name to Berk’s Furniture & Mattress and rebranded itself a year ago, says Berkowitz. Before it’s rebranding, the store focused mostly on consignment furniture. Now, it specializes in all brand name furniture, mattresses, recliners and even a “big area rug department,” for a great value.
Berkowitz says “We carry everything for immediate delivery, all brand name, at discount prices.” Pieces to fill in any living room, dining room and bedroom, reclining as well, are on display at Berk’s. It specializes in “top of the line mattresses made by one of the top five biggest companies in the world, Bedding Industries of America, “all made in NJ, made to order” for sale at “a fraction of the price.”
A main company they get their merchandise from is Southern Motion.
“We’re constantly growing,” says Berkowitz, adding that they plan to expand the list of manufacturers they currently work with. Some other names they currently order from are Jofran, Vaughan-Bassett, Hooker, Ashley.
“Berk’s is all about value,” says Berkowitz. “That’s all we do is discount. Customers who shop at Berk’s Furniture & Mattress value the in-house delivery available six days a week from delivery guys who are courteous, polite and on-time.
With a warehouse attached, and another warehouse right in Pennsylvania, Berkowitz says “all furniture takes a week to come in.”
“We are growing and changing,” says Berkowitz. It just added 6,000 sq. feet to the showroom floor two months ago to display its new reclining department. Berk’s carries all American-made recliners, all hardwood frame, padding, memory foam seats in the cushion.
The store even offers Lift Chairs for senior citizens. Sold for $499, the chair features power recline and power lift which raises an individual from sitting to standing.
Like an antique piece of furniture that needs to be reupholstered rather than thrown out, Berk’s Furniture & Mattress has a decorative history that dates back almost 75 years. Their grandfather, Joseph Berkowitz of Washington, owned a farm then opened up his first retail store, The Trading Post, on Route 57 from 1943 to 1965. A Burger King now owns that store space.
A second location opened in 1963, called the County Trading Post, and that was located on Main Street in Hackettstown. That store changed its name to the Hackettstown Trading Post in 1988 and was owned by Joel Berkowitz, son of Joseph and father of Amy and Justin Berkowitz.
Joel Berkowitz retired after 53 years and that store is currently vacant, says Berkowitz.
Through the years, the family business evolved from a hardware store with “knick knacks” in the 1940’s, to appliances, carpeting, stereos and electronics.
Then in 1990, it began to sell recliners at the Hackettstown Trading Post, “then became a full-fledged furniture store.”
Amy and Justin were employees of the Hackettstown Trading Post, working there for 15 years before and after college.
“Our whole lives, we worked on and off there,” says Berkowitz. “Justin started on delivery trucks when he was a freshman. I cleaned the appliances; we did the sidewalk sales. We grew up in the business,” and eventually found their way back to start their own company in 2011.
Four years apart in age, they both attended Pope John High School. Amy attended University of Georgia, receiving her degree in marketing and communication, and then volunteered in Africa. Justin attended Rutgers University, received a master’s degree in environmental economics before returning to the furniture business.
Like a comfortable piece of furniture, sometimes it’s just too hard to get up and walk away.
“I truly, truly love this business,” says Berkowitz, who spends most of her time on the sales floor. “I enjoy dealing with customers, meeting new people. I love furniture; I like the trends. I like pleasing the customer,” like getting them the furniture “immediately.”
From the buying, to the floor planning, helping customers to delivery- Berkowitz says “I like being busy and doing different things every day.
Located on Mountain Ave., next to the Paintpourri, before Route 57, “We are there every single day and looking forward to meeting new customers.”
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mon.-Sat.; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun. Specials through Memorial Day include 48 months interest free on any purchases and the company will pay the customer’s sales tax.