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Mid-Week Mugging: First year under new management

Well-known, well-established Sault furniture store celebrating 31 years in business; new ownership, but dedication to selling ‘quality furniture at affordable pricing’ remains
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Marco De Rubeis, Mio’s Furniture Fashions store manager, and Javad Ghassemkhani, Mio’s president, with two SooToday Mid-Week Mugging coffee mugs, Aug. 30, 2017. Darren Taylor/SooToday

SooToday visited Mio’s Furniture Fashions to chat with the staff and drop off two SooToday mugs that would look great on any coffee table. 

The store, at 261 Trunk Road, established by original owner/operator Sergio Mio in 1986, came under the sole ownership of longtime employee/co-owner Javad Ghassemkani a year and a half ago, when Mio retired.

Jav specializes in the design of the store, inside and out, as well as customer service.

Mio’s, which is 31 years old this year, looks like an upscale, well-landscaped home, the interior filled with quality furniture and artwork, while soft music plays over speakers.

“We get our furniture from shows we go to, and we try to deal with as many Canadian companies as possible. We do our own purchasing and design,” Jav said.

“Our specialty is in anything to do with home ‘soft goods’ like furnishings, lighting, window coverings, accessories, and mattresses. Mattresses are one of our strengths.”

The artwork which adorns Mio’s walls and the sculptures on the coffee tables come from many different suppliers, both from Canada and abroad.

The months before Christmas and spring are usually Mio’s busiest periods.

“We get all ages. We used to have older customers but now we’re getting younger professionals, any age group, actually,” Jav said.

“Yes, I think the word is getting out now that people are able to get quality furniture at affordable pricing at Mio’s. For an extra couple of hundred dollars they can get that better quality sofa that’s going to last a long time, better fabrics,” said Marco De Rubeis, Mio’s store manager.

Marco was first exposed to Mio’s when he was furnishing his own home.

“At that point I saw the store in action, the high level of service and quality of the products. I was really surprised at the affordability,” said Marco, who came on as store manager last January.

“The best part about it is you get to customize it, the fabrics, the furniture legs, the seat firmness…we help you through it.”

“That’s a good point,” Jav said.

“Our biggest success is because of dealing with Canadian companies. A lot of businesses in our sector are ‘what you see is what you get,’ or three options only, but with us, its endless. If you want a couch softer, firmer, arms forward, back higher, any design changes you want done, you can do it, and that’s because our furniture is domestically made and not imported.”

“We design for consumers needs,” Jav said.

Mio’s also services what they sell, going beyond the manufacturer’s warranty.

Word of Mio’s quality has spread beyond the Sault over the years.

“We have grown huge outside the Sault. We’ve delivered as far as Sudbury, Collingwood, Marathon, Manitouwadge and Chapleau. We do it because of the trust we have built and we have a lot of repeat customers,” Jav said.

Mio’s currently employs 10 people.

As the business celebrates its 31st anniversary, a website with complete pricing and checkout, e-commerce expansion, more promotional pricing and hiring of additional staff is in the works.

“I love what I do,” Jav said.

“I love the design part of it, I love dealing with people. I don’t look at it as work, it’s what I enjoy.”

"I find time doesn’t go by slow here. I enjoy what I’m doing, I have fun at work, and you meet a lot of new people and build friendships with customers,” Marco said.

Mio’s is open from 9 a.m.to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday (closed Sunday).