STAFFORD SPRINGS--Seniority doesn't always count in the end.
Bakers Country Furniture, the oldest furniture store in America, is closing after 207 years in business. The store is currently housed in a turn-of-the-19th-century Victorian home located at 42 West Main St., just a mile from where the business was originally located in 1808.
The furniture store was originally called G. H. Baker, and it was opened by Henry and John Baker in 1808.
"As far as we can tell we're absolutely the oldest furniture store in the nation, we've never found anything to say we're not," said John Rossi, the owner of Baker's.
At that time, the town was a main roadway for the stage coach route between New York, Boston and the rest of southern New England, which opened up business opportunities for residents.
The store prides itself on its handmade work, and most of its furniture adheres to the theme of "a little less country and a little more style." Baker's specializes in solid hardwood furniture made by skilled craftsmen in North America.
It has remained a family-run entity throughout its lengthy run. In the 1960s Roger Rossi, a cabinetmaker for Bakers Country Furniture, was offered a partnership in the company, and eventually bought it. His son John and John's wife, Patty, took over the store, but are now selling it to move in another direction.
"We're seeing the landscape change a little bit, kind of going away from [handmade, wooden American furniture], so we've just decided now is the time to do the same," Rossi said.
Before the store officially closes it is holding a blowout sale to clear out the remaining inventory. The stylish antique reproductions, handmade oriental rugs and luxury handmade mattresses will all be selling anywhere from 50 to 65 percent off original prices.
This event will be a celebration of over 207 years serving the area of Stafford Springs. Our customers will have the opportunity to learn about the history of the business and its place in the community. Over the years, Bakers Furniture has become a destination for stylish, quality furnishings at an exceptional value, for customers throughout northeastern Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts.