For 33 years, Furniture and Things and Plants and Things USA have been a family-owned and operated business in the Elk River area.
Owners Larry and Frosty and their sons, Steve and Jeff, are all involved in various aspects of the business.
It started out years ago as a fruit and vegetable market, and has grown into one of the most unique and enjoyable shopping experiences in the Twin Cities.
There are three locations: Furniture and Things in Elk River and Coon Rapids and Plants and Things USA in Anoka.
The Elk River store, located at 15612 Jarvis St., is 150,000 square feet in size and includes a clearance center outlet on the second floor.
The store carries well-known name brands like Flexsteel, which has been in business for over 120 years.
New to Furniture and Things is Thomasville furniture, also the largest showroom in Minnesota.
Furniture and Things is also known for Amish furniture. Twenty-six Amish farms produce indoor and outdoor furniture for Furniture and Things and Plants and Things USA. The stores carry items in stock — including bedroom and dining room furniture and TV stands — or people can custom order items.
“It’s Amish quality you expect and styles you didn’t,” Steve said. “People sometimes associate Amish furniture with an outdated country style,” he said. “But the Amish furniture we carry is very in style and current.”
Generally speaking, he said one of Furniture and Things’ strengths is that it is the place to find something different or more unique.
Furniture and Things has more than just furniture. The “Things” include pictures, mirrors, lamps, unique art and crafts and many accessories you can’t find anywhere else.
Plants and Things USA, located on Highway 10 and Sunfish Lake Boulevard just outside Anoka, focuses on the outdoor with patio sets, poly lumber furniture and Amish gazebos, sheds and playhouses. Plants and Things USA also carries water fountains, birdbaths and literally thousands of lawn ornaments made from concrete and wood. It has everything you need to create an outdoor room.
Emphasis on customer service
Providing excellent customer service is at the forefront of the business.
Larry and Frosty lead the staff with the goal of pleasing the customer.
“Every day I think about the customers’ wants and needs,” Larry said. “We have always wanted to offer simply the best store we can by presenting great products at competitive prices, and a hometown service that customers can trust. Nothing is perfect, but it’s a lot of fun to try.”
The sales staff is non-commission and, as Steve puts it: “We’re not going to twist your arm.”
He said their staff members are sales professionals, not order takers, and they know what they’re talking about.
“They have been here long enough they’re like family and they know their stuff,” he said.
It’s one of the reasons people keep coming back to Furniture and Things and Plants and Things USA.
Steve, who started in the family business when he was 12, said he’s seeing a second generation of customers come through now.
“We have a loyal, dedicated customer base,” he said. “It kind of tells you they believe in us.”