Business SpotlightMay 2009
In Jersey City or any city in the US, small businesses that reach the 100-year mark are few and far between. But if you’re in the Heights, you don’t have to look far for a business with a century’s worth of experience and history. Hauptman Floor Covering, located in the heart of the Central Avenue business district, is celebrating its centennial in 2009!
Hauptman’s was founded on Central Avenue in 1909 by William Hauptman, who, with his son Julius, managed to keep the business going through the Depression by adding toys to their inventory. The business was purchased by Edward and Geraldine Solomon in the 1960s and is now owned and operated by Edward’s son Gary Solomon and his wife Diane with their two sons Ed and Doug.
How does a business survive through so many years of economic and generational changes? “We have a lot of good contacts, a lot of good friends,” says Gary. “The business has made it through good times and bad because of that.” But building those friendships takes consistent attention to customer service. “It’s more than ‘I want a red carpet’ – you need to sell the right carpet for the right job so that you don’t have a problem in the future,” he says.
Over the years, many loyal Hauptman clients have moved from Hudson County to points west and south, but they’ve kept coming back to Hauptman for their flooring and window covering needs, keeping Gary, his sons and employees on the road much of the time. Carpeting itself has also changed – products are of a higher quality and more stain-resistant, and green products and practices like recycling have grown in popularity. Hauptman’s also does a growing portion of its business online through its website, www.HauptmanFloor.com.
Even for a well-established business owner, it isn’t easy to take time away from day-to-day operations. Despite this, Gary was a founding member of the Central Avenue SID and has been serving the greater community on Central Avenue and in the Heights by sharing his experience and vision as the secretary of the CASID Board of Trustees since 1992.