Aiellos are new owners of Richard’s Carpet Outlet

PHOTOS BY JACOB GURNEY Richard’s Carpet Outlet, 2695 W. US 224, has all types of flooring available.

While the ownership of Richard’s Carpet Outlet may have changed, the business has not, according to its new owner.

Mike Aiello said he, along with his wife Kellie, took over Richard’s Carpet Outlet at 2695 W. US 224, April 1. He said one thing he wants to do is keep everything the same and uphold the reputation of the store from the past 39 years.

“Everything is staying the same,” Mike said. “We want to provide the same good service for the community and we’re going to work on getting more carpet in stock.”

He said the original owner, Richard Hohman, still works there and has kept the schedule all his customers are used to

“He’s the heart of it,” Mike said.

Hohman said back in 1981, he was running the floor covering department at another establishment and he noticed that while there were a lot of floor covering stores in town, he thought there was a need for a floor covering store to offer better prices and better service. He said he knew he could buy better and offer better prices for customers in the area which is why he wanted to start his own business.

“I knew what all the competition was and really nobody had a lot of carpet in stock. That’s how we started out as an outlet,” Hohman said.

The store started out at a location on SR 101 and moved to its current location in 1983, he said.

“It was the best thing we ever did,” Hohman said. “It’s a higher traffic location. We draw from not just in town, but out of town, and probably have a good 40-mile radius (of customers). We’ve went that far as far as installing goes.”

He said he just wanted to offer better prices, better service, better selection and while he knew there was a niche there, it was tough at first because there was a lot of competition. There were a lot of stores selling carpet and floor covering at that time and it was a slow time in the economy, Hohman said. He said they offered reasonable prices, good service and were honest with people and “you can build a reputation like that,” he said.

“We’ve just continued all the way through. No gimmicks, better prices, better service. We don’t offer free this, free that, because there’s no such thing,” Hohman said.

“The business after the first few years, it just kept growing from day one, there was no slowdowns,” he said. “We’re locally owned and operated that was the big thing advertised and we’re still locally owned and operated.”

Hohman said he always envisioned Mike running the store or owning it one day because he was a good employee. The situation came up and he was interested and made the move to buy it, though Hohman is still working there to help keep it going.

“It’s sort of like back to the old times but with a role reversal,” Hohman said.

Mike said being able to buy Richard’s Carpet Outlet was a “good opportunity” and he had worked there years ago and just wanted to come back. He said he was previously a supervisor at FedEx, but now it’s nice to be closer to home. Kellie said she works behind the scenes and helps do the books for the business.

Mike said there is definitely a difference in lifestyles in making the switch, and Kellie added that they have more family time. Mike said he liked how Richard’s really is a family-oriented business.

“I like being able to help locals. I grew up in the Tiffin area so I like being able to help the local community,” he said.

Hohman said while he will retire someday, he is still working because he has a lot of customers that know him and ask for him. He said the customers are his favorite part of the business and he has made some good friendships with people over the years.

“What is most satisfying is just knowing the fact we’ve had happy customers and a lot of customers come back to say ‘thank you.’ It’s a big satisfaction knowing you have repeat customers throughout the years and the people saying, ‘you did my carpet 20 years ago and here we are again,'” Hohman said.

He said he worked hard throughout the years, and he has “been through it all.” Hohman said there have been a lot of changes with vendors, a lot of companies have gone out of business and while prices have increased because of inflation, they still try to offer the best prices they can.

“It’s been a lot of hard work but it’s been worth it,” he said.

Mike said the store sells all types of flooring including carpet, vinyl flooring, luxury vinyl plank, laminate, hardwood, area rugs, and remnants. Kellie said they’re working to keep the products updated for new customers coming in that aren’t necessarily “old school.”

She said they are working on updating the website, but are keeping that and the phone number the same.

Mike said business has been “really good so far” and they’ve been busy and have had a really good welcoming. He said when he worked there in the 1990s, he had some customers and is now seeing some of the same customers from back then.

Hohman said he is glad to see Mike in there to keep the place going and the main thing is to keep the name and the business going.

“I just would never want to see the business close. With him being here and having been there before, things are running the same as usual,” he said.

While a lot of places change under new ownership, Mike said he didn’t want to change anything and just wanted to keep everything the same. That’s also why he’s not going to the change the name of the store, he said.

“I’d like to keep the name for the people. We have the same name and provide the same service. We’re kind of continuing the legacy,” Mike said.

Richard’s Carpet Outlet is open 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Thursday; and 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday.

For more information or to contact the store, people can call (419) 448-1375 and visit www.richardscarpetoutlet.com


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