Schuberts Carpet One in Jamestown closes after 76 years
Prime Properties ND LLC purchased the Schuberts property and business.
A business that has been operating for 76 years in Jamestown closed its doors after it was sold to a local company.
Schuberts Carpet One Floor & Home, located at 120 First St. E, officially closed its doors on Nov. 30. The business opened on March 17, 1945, selling wall and floor coverings, paints and glass.
Prime Properties ND LLC recently purchased the Schuberts property and business. Matt McPherson, co-owner of Prime Properties, said the company will renovate and update the main floor of the Schuberts building as well as the apartments.
“We have no set plans as of now,” he said. “We just want to update the space and we will look for tenants after that.”
Schuberts mainly sold products for floor coverings and paint.
Barb Gomke, who was the majority owner and manager of Schuberts, said she tried selling the business to someone who would be interested in taking over the Carpet One franchise but she didn’t find much interest. She said the decision was not instantaneous to sell the business.
“It has been going on for a while,” she said. “I even contacted Carpet One to see if someone else would be interested in moving here and taking over the Carpet One program. There wasn't much interest so this was my next step. It is time for me to enjoy my retirement.”
History of Schuberts building
A story published on March 29, 1989, in The Jamestown Sun reported on the Schuberts building and the history of the business. The Schuberts building was built in 1884 with bricks made at the Jamestown Brick Factory. The original building was 80 by 80 feet and three stories high. The ground floor was divided into three separate storerooms.
By 1950, the original space was deemed inadequate and the second storeroom to the east was leased, The Sun reported. The two rooms were remodeled with part of the walls being torn out and new steel beams were installed to support the upper floors. A new storefront was installed and new lines of decorating products were added.
By 1957, a new addition was needed, and the building was expanded, which allowed for more floor space and housed the glass workshop, according to The Sun story.
Buell and Ann Schubert sold the store to their employees in 1971, and the name was changed from Schubert’s to Schuberts Sales Inc. Shortly after the Schuberts sold the store in 1971, more space was needed for sales and storage, so a steel building was purchased on the railroad right of way east of the Second Street East railroad crossing, the story reported.
Products sold in 1989 included paint, varnish, wallpaper, carpet, vinyl flooring, window treatments, glass, storefronts and aluminum awnings, storm windows and doors and ceramic tile for walls and floors.
Longtime career for Gomke
Gomke has worked at Schuberts since 1972. When she was a high school junior, she started in Schuberts through the DECA program, which placed an individual with a business in town to be part of a grade in the student's class.
Gomke worked at Schuberts after school and on the weekends and eventually Duane Stahlhut, manager at the time, hired her to a permanent position at Schuberts. The only person Gomke did not work under was Buell Schubert, she said.
“I went through a lot of different people that were above me,” she said. “As they retired and moved on I gradually kept moving my way up and eventually was there at the top.”
Carpet One Floor & Home is a cooperative, according to its website. Gomke said Schuberts Carpet One is an employee-owned business.
“Throughout the years you purchased shares,” she said. “ … With majority shares, you are kind of the owner, but there are people involved with that too.”
She said customer service was a priority to keep Schuberts in business.
“When jobs were done, you always called a customer to see if everything went OK, if everything turned out nice for them,” she said.
Gomke said good customer service helped bring back previous customers.
“I helped some people from the first day I came to probably the last year I was here,” she said. “They would come back, and I would help them with different things. I helped some people with three to four homes that they changed and moved and went to a different home.”
Gomke worked at Schuberts for 49 years and was hoping to make it to 50 years, she said.
“I didn’t quite get there because this (sale of the building) went faster than I thought it would,” she said.
Gomke said she is going to enjoy retirement now.
“I have grandchildren in Iowa, and I hope to visit them more often,” she said. “Just enjoying spending time at home and maybe doing a little traveling. We have to wait and see how it goes.”