A Letter from Joe:
I am announcing my retirement sale at Oak Tree Furniture. After 45 years in business in Howard County, I have decided to retire due to 2 situations.
1st my home has been devastated by the Ellicott City floods of 2016 and now again 2018 during these 2 periods I have lost 4 bridges that give access to 2 homes and the paved road with much other damage done to the house. No insurance has helped, and it’s been financially difficult on me personally and has put a strain on the business.
I also have serious health issues that I need to take care of now. I still have no access to my home after 3 months and with what I’m being told New Cut Road where I live will be closed until next year, and it’s my understanding their planning on building several hundred more homes on New Cut Road. So, I really don’t think we stand a chance with the additional water runoff. This seems like it’s just going to continue, and it has taken its toll on my wife and me.
That being said, I am closing the store. The showroom will close the first week of October and our warehouse for shipping and receiving as well as our custom finishing shop on Red Branch Road will remain open until late November so that we can get every customer’s order complete and delivered in a timely fashion. It’s going to be a lot of work in a short period of time, so I am asking everyone to please be patient with us, but we will fill every order.
Looking back on the past 45 years of business in Howard County it’s been quite an experience, starting with Joseph’s Refinishing which I had for 14 years doing total furniture restoration and upholstery, I won the award to design the chairs in Ford’s Theatre in 1986 – after manufacturing and finishing of 850 chairs I used the extra space and had started Oak Tree Furniture. In 1988 I sold the finishing company, it’s still in business on Red Branch Road and Oak Tree continued to grow over the years and I bought the building on the corner of Red Branch and Rt 108. 4 years ago, I decided to sell the building and move to McGaw where we are now.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet many people in the community and made many friendships. Working with the people in the county on different projects has been a pleasure when hurricane Katrina hit the gulf we decided to send our trucks with food, water, clothing medical & personal supplies that the victims needed down south. I asked the community for help and within 3 days we sent 9 trucks to New Orleans, Mississippi and Houston, Texas where people were being housed. My staff with volunteers from the area were loading trucks sorting and then acted as drivers to get the supplies down south over the next 9 months we sent 3 more trucks to areas needing help. The whole point is that the entire community worked together to help others and I am glad I was able to be part of that. Over the years there have been many times we have been included in projects in the county and we are grateful to be included.
Over 45 years I have had many employees and I have enjoyed working with them all, some have become pilots, politicians, doctors and just great people that I am glad to have shared part of life with them. I thank you for your help. The staff I have now if terrific, when I told them of my situation and that I was going to retire they all said they would stay with me until it was done, some people who had retired came out of retirement to come back and help me. Doesn’t get any better than that!
We are going through a difficult time now and I appreciate everyone’s understanding, and support. I could go on forever, but I won’t – so I will end with thank you all for the many years of business, friendship and help, all the best