All About Furniture Mall of Kansas
The Winter family has owned and operated Kansas retail furniture locations since 1933, but the third generation, 5-store Furniture Mall of Kansas model began in 2013. “We believe our guests want big selection, but not the big box feel,” says Jeff Winter, co-owner of the business, “So by dividing a big space into three furniture stores, a mattress store and a flooring store, we make it easier for them to shop and keep some of the small store feel our guests have come to appreciate. Our guests get the best of both large selection and small store feel with home town service.
Each of the Malls were designed with an open, flowing floor plan to encourage exploring each of the individual stores inside. Guests tell us they especially enjoy the interactive aquariums found in the Mattress Headquarters stores, the “Barn” section that features Amish furniture and the Howdy Come In café -- a fully furnished café which is a direct salute to our grandparents and founders of the business.
The café makes home-made frozen custard, cookies, coffee, etc., that are served to our guests by our “Ohhh Yeah!” hosts and hostesses. We like to say we are the only furniture store in the world that provides home-made frozen custard to guests. This adds to the fun of shopping we want our guests to experience in our stores.
That “Ohhh Yeah” moniker for our hosts and hostesses expresses the feeling we want each of our guests to have – even after they leave our stores.
“Ohhh Yeah!” hosts and hostesses also greet guests and provide many services to make their entire shopping experience easy and care-free. For example, when it rains, hosts will meet shoppers at the exits with umbrellas to accompany them back to their car!
We have an in-home design team that help our guests with space planning, selection and projects. We have several design areas in each Mall with fabrics and large screen TVs that we use to show product as well as space planning.”
Monthly we host free “Tips, Tricks & Treats” seminars to acquaint people with design ideas, trends and inspiration. Attendance is usually 100 – 200 per month per Mall.
Guests also see an abundance of home accessories throughout our stores that change frequently enough to attract folks into the stores -- even when they may have no specific furniture need in mind!
And we operate our own delivery service so we can continue to own the experience of our guests, and because we believe they will be happier with our service.
Our Ohhh Yeah Guarantee
Be confident with your furniture choice with our Ohhh Yeah Guarantee!
Selecting furniture for your home is a big decision and we want you to feel comfortable about that decision. All of our Home Specialists are non-commissioned, so they are here to work for you. They are trained to assist you in the furniture, decor and flooring decision making process by providing product knowledge, creative ideas, and solutions - so you can make the best decision for your lifestyle. Trust our team to help you choose makes sense for your budget, style, and needs.
Expectations are high these days, and we know it! We want to make sure that our guests are satisfied with our services and have an unforgettable furniture shopping experience-in our stores and out. If something isn't right, we fix it. If something needs to be done, we do it. We know that for a relationship to develop, trust needs to be established. Our low-price guarantee policy is just the first step. Our low-price guarantee states that we will meet or beat any advertised price in print within 75 miles of our stores on first quality, identical merchandise for up to 30 days after purchase. We want our guests to buy with confidence, not live with doubt!
The second step is to get the merchandise to the home safely. Of course, a guest is always welcome to pick-up their merchandise at our Distribution Center, but we recommend using our Delivery Prime service. We are confident that guests won't regret it and you can use it over and over again for a year!
Our Delivery Prime Service starts with a thorough inspection in our Distribution Center of the merchandise to be delivered, so that upon arrival, everything is in perfect condition and ready to move into the home. The merchandise will be carefully loaded, protected with padding and delivered by our own delivery team using our own trucks.
Regardless of manufacturer warranties, Furniture Mall of Kansas warrants furniture you purchase from us to be free of manufacturing defects for six months and will provide in- home repair in our service area if required.
We will also ensure you receive the full benefit of factory warranties, as the Furniture Mall of Kansas is the "Factory Authorized" service provider in this area for many of our manufacturers.
This is just a sneak peek of what we have to offer. Visit us for your own Ohhh Yeah experience!
Our Work Family
Our employees are more than just employees to us, they are family. Without their hard work and dedication, we wouldn't be able to achieve our vision of helping guests have more beautiful and comfortable homes.
Our simplified business philosophy of “Happy Family (we call our employees family), Happy Guests. Happy Business.” drives the right decisions and behaviors that can make a positive difference in peoples’ lives, be it family or guest. For example, we have a non-commission pay system because we believe it better supports having a happy work family which is needed to have happy guests. Our company vision is: To be the BEST at helping our guests have more beautiful and comfortable homes. BEST is an acronym for how we are going accomplish our goals: Believing, Earning, Serving, and Turning.
The Furniture Mall of Kansas has locations in Topeka and Olathe Kansas. Each Furniture Mall of Kansas location houses 5 smaller stores that make the over 150,000 square feet of selection in each location easier to shop.
Each mall offers our Good, Better, and Best furniture stores: RoomMakers, Discovery Furniture, and Marling’s Furniture. Each mall also has a mattress store, Mattress Headquarters, and a flooring store, Flooring Headquarters.
The Furniture Mall of Kansas brand promise is: BIG Selection. LOCAL Connection!
The “local connection” is one of the chief keys to our success.
Through all the changes and growth many things have remained timeless for us. These include our dedication to being the BEST at helping our guests have more beautiful and comfortable homes, treating our employees like family, and being committed to the communities in which we reside and serve.
Giving back is part of who we are. We frequently offer support to our local communities through special programs, sponsorships and more. For example, we celebrated the grand opening of the Olathe Mall with a sneak peek party where the “cover charge” proceeds were donated to the local City Union Mission. We also have a process to help customers donate their gently used furniture to the Rescue Mission both in Topeka and Kansas City.
In the early 1930's Ben and Eva Winter took a risk and invested in a Derby Gas Station, along with a soda fountain - which they named "The Howdy Come In" on Highway 50, west of Emporia, Kansas. They also purchased four milk cows and named them Silk, Faith, Perseverance, and Hope. As the cows produced more milk than expected they began making a family specialty - homemade frozen custard. It soon became the featured item at the Howdy Come In. Eva would delight customers with her joyous attitude and by adding "a little extra on top" to every serving of frozen custard. The Winter's homemade frozen custard became so popular, they soon delivered it throughout the streets of Emporia, first by horse drawn wagon, then by motorized wagon.
One day a hitchhiker stopped in the Howdy with two suitcases, one for his clothing and the second for his cabinet making tools. Ben and Eva hired him to use some walnut lumber in one of the barns to make a chifferobe for the soon to be born baby boy, Bobby (second generation owner, Bob Winter). Ben and Eva were so impressed with the craftsmanship of the chifferobe that Ben was inspired to acquire furniture from local farm auctions and have the cabinetmaker recondition it. Soon the dairy barn became home to new and reconditioned furniture, and the beginning of the Winter Furniture Store.
After several years, Ben and Eva desired to grow the business they had grown to love and moved the store from the dairy barn to downtown Emporia. A generation later, in 1967, Bob Winter and wife Joyce, joined the family business. They moved from Denver, Colorado where Bob got his start as a buyer for Davis and Shaw Furniture. Bob worked along with his brother Richard and father Ben for nearly 30 years at Winter Furniture in Emporia.
When Bob and Joyce were nearly 65 they began planning the opening of a new store in Topeka. When most people their age were ready for retirement, they experienced a burning desire to open a new furniture store. As they were brainstorming the business model with the family, their oldest son Jeff, became particularly interested in the concept. He thrilled his parents when he and his wife June decided to join them in opening Discovery Furniture by Winter, in Topeka, in 2000. Jeff and June moved their family from Iowa to join the family business. Jeff, a graduate from Kansas State University in mechanical engineering, had worked at Maytag for 16 years and enjoyed the engineering, manufacturing, and management roles greatly, but the opportunity to work in the family business was one he felt called to do. In 2003, they desired to grow the family business, and opened RoomMakers in Topeka and an Ashley Furniture HomeStore the following year (2004) in Salina, Kansas.
In 2009, Bob and Joyce's youngest son, Jamie and wife Jeanne moved from Michigan to join the family business. Jamie was an Executive with Continental where he utilized his degrees in electrical engineering from Kansas State University and an MBA from Texas A&M University. He gained great experience and enjoyed various roles in auto electronics manufacturing, including moving his family to China to start a plant from scratch. However, after 16 years in manufacturing, he felt the call to come join family business.
In 2010, a second location of Discovery Furniture and RoomMakers, along with a new Mattress Headquarters was opened in Lawrence, Kansas. This was the beginning of the mall concept to bring multiple stores under one roof, to provide the convenience of big selection with the small local store feel.
As the Winters were planning to bring the mall concept to Topeka in 2011-2012, Marling's Furniture, one of the long standing (75 years) furniture stores in Topeka, was looking to sell their building and close. Marling's had an excellent reputation and specialized in the good to higher end market, therefore, adding it to the mall concept was an opportunity to keep their name alive as well as extend our offerings in higher end goods. Therefore, the mall concept grew to include three furniture brands covering three distinct price ranges from good to better and best.
In 2013, the Furniture Mall of Kansas opened in Topeka. It included three furniture stores: Discovery Furniture, RoomMakers, and Marling's, a mattress store - Mattress Headquarters, and a flooring store - Flooring Headquarters. Third generation owner, Jeff Winter, says, "we believe our guests want big selections, but not the big box feel, so by dividing a big space into three furniture stores, a mattress store and a flooring store, we'd make it easier for our guests to shop and keep some of the small store feel they have come to appreciate. The addition of Flooring Headquarters was to further help our guests to find more of what they need, to have an exceptionally beautiful and comfortable home, all in one convenient location."
In 2015, the Winters opened a second and bigger Furniture Mall of Kansas in Olathe.
The Winter family and staff continue to have a passion for creating a legendary experience and helping people live in more beautiful and comfortable homes. We want to make your experience pleasant, stress-free, and unlike any other furniture shopping experience of your past! Visit us today to start enjoying your furniture shopping experience!
The Howdy Come In Cafe
The Winter family has been in the furniture business for over 80 years, however what most people don't know is that the family business actually began with selling homemade frozen custard.
In the early 1930's Ben and Eva Winter took a risk and invested in a Derby Gas Station, along with a soda fountain – which they named, Howdy Come In, on Highway 50, west of Emporia, Kansas. They also purchased four milk cows and named them Silk, Faith, Perseverance and Hope. As the cows produced more milk than expected they began making a family specialty - homemade frozen custard. It soon became the featured item at the Howdy Come In. Eva would delight customers with her joyous attitude and by adding "a little extra on top" to every serving of frozen custard. The Winter's homemade frozen custard became so popular, they soon delivered it throughout the streets of Emporia, first by horse drawn wagon, then by motorized wagon.
One day a hitchhiker stopped in the Howdy Come In with two suitcases, one for his clothing and the second for his cabinet making tools. Ben and Eva hired him to use some walnut lumber in one of the barns to make a chifferobe for the soon to be born baby boy, "Bobby" (second generation owner, Bob Winter). Ben and Eva were so impressed with the craftsmanship of the chifferobe, Ben was inspired to acquire furniture from local farm auctions and have the cabinetmaker recondition it. Soon the dairy barn became home to new and reconditioned furniture, and the beginning of the Winter Furniture Store.
As a direct salute to our grandparents and founders of the business, both of our locations include a Howdy Come In café -- a fully furnished café which makes home-made frozen custard, cookies, coffee, etc., that are served to our guests by our “Ohhh Yeah!” hosts and hostesses. We like to say we are the only furniture store in the world that provides home-made frozen custard to guests. This adds to the fun of shopping we want our guests to experience in our stores.
Through all the years and changes many things about the family business that started with hope, faith, and a lot of perseverance remain timeless.
History of our Frozen Custard - It has been a specialty in the Winter family for generations. Kathryn Anna (Great Grandma Kate) and Henry Christian Winter first began making this special recipe when they were pioneers in western Kansas in the 1870's. During the wintertime they would cut ice in the Pawnee River, haul it near the house, and bury it under straw, sod and loose dirt. When spring came, the ice was dug up and used to make many freezers of homemade frozen custard. The neighboring homesteaders would be invited, and soon Great Grandma Kate Winter's frozen custard became the favorite among family and friends.