BEAVER SPRINGS — For nearly a century, Benfer’s Furniture has operated from the family home of Beaver Springs.
Randall Benfer started the business in 1927 from the home at 12 Pine St. he shared with his wife, Estella, and their three daughters, Dorothy, Gloria and Evelyn.
A son, Paul, was born a year later and today, along with his wife, interior designer Millie Hilton Benfer, continues to run the store which offers a range of contemporary, American, Victorian and Queen Anne furniture. brands such as President Harden, Taylor King and Zimmerman; uncirculated antiques; bespoke home furnishings and draperies.
“I have always worked here. I like to comfort people,” said Benfer, who took over the business after the death of his parents.
He met Hilton Benfer in 1988 when a friend encouraged her to visit the Beaver Springs store to buy furniture to fill her newly built home in Berks County.
“Paul answered the door wearing his flight jacket,” she recalled of her future husband, who owned and flew a private plane for years.
That day, while browsing through merchandise on the store’s two sprawling floors and talking with Benfer, Hilton Benfer found a dining set and a life partner.
Hilton Benfer quickly used her interior design background to energize the business by rearranging items to better display merchandise and creating themed rooms decorated with her elaborately hand-crafted curtains.
“He needed me,” she said. “Change is good,” replied Benfer.
They married in 1992 and together they continued the Benfer family business, although there have been difficult times in recent years as sales have slowed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the long-time employee date, Susan Blazer, died in December 2020.
“Suzy gave her life and soul to this place,” Hilton Benfer said.
The Benfers have sold several buildings in the city, including a warehouse where they once stored goods, but they are not ready to abandon the company founded 95 years ago.
In fact, Hilton Benfer said, her husband’s goal is for Benfer’s Furniture to continue serving customers on its 100th anniversary in 2027.
“Come visit us because we are always here,” Benfer said.
Meubles Benfer are open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.