Welcome to Our About Us Page
A Brief History
In 1919, Kalman Rudolph arrived in Butte, Montana after a long, arduous journey across Russia, Siberia, Manchuria, and the Pacific Ocean. Upon his arrival he immediately set his sites upon opening his own business. He went into business for himself in 1919, starting what is now Rudolphs Standard Furniture, Montana’s Oldest Furniture Store. The Rudolph family has owned and operated the store continually since 1919.
The original site of this furniture store was 215 E. Park and the business was called The Butte Furniture Exchange. The location of the store has inched up the street over the years, once into the building at 105 E. Park, then into its current location at 65 E. Park in 1939.
Lew and Newt Rudolph ran the store for many years with their father, Kalman, who worked continually until he was 92 years old. Newt worked at the store until the day he passed away in 1998. Lew, who was born in 1922, works at the store daily and shows no sign of letting up.
With furniture being in the Rudolphs’ blood, Mike (Lew’s son) joined the business in 1976. His wife, Pam, works side-by-side with Lew and Mike. Pam and Mike’s son, Max, also works full-time with the family. Their other son, Ron, is attending college in Missoula and the family is hopeful that the furniture business is in his blood, as well.
In addition to Lew, Mike, Max, and Pam Rudolph, the store employs two deliverymen, a warehouse manager and another full-time salesperson. Having celebrated close to a century of doing business in Butte, Rudolphs anticipates serving the community for many years, and possibly generations, to come.
Grandpa Kalman Rudolph began the store working it himself with an occasional part-time employee. We now employ 8 people, and occasionally hire temporary help.
Each member of the family, at one time or another, has had the opportunity to work in the store. Every wife and child has joined forces with the rest of the family to contribute to the efforts of the family members who've worked full-time. In addition, family (including the family pet) is often featured in our advertising and promotion campaigns.
The family attributes the continued success of the business to their commitment to offer something different, keeping ahead of the competition, and providing customers with excellent service, such as always offering unique financing terms, full service, and free regional delivery. The store has expanded its showroom space over the years to 28,000 square feet. The business is located in three historic uptown buildings which have been modified to function as one large business space.
Rudolphs' product lines have changed with the times. The store carries a full line of furniture, bedding, area rugs and accessories.
In 2006, Rudolphs joined Pacific Furniture Dealers, a 60+-store buying group based in the northwest. This association further enables the business additional group buying power and membership coordination.
The business has had ample opportunity to experience the challenges of doing business. Probably one of the most significant challenges in their recent history was a fire which occurred in February, 2003. The fire was arson-caused and gutted a large portion of their building. The result was a total renovation of their uptown business location and a renewed respect for all that owning a business entails. We appreciate our customer loyalty. Quality furniture truly costs less.; It's less expensive to buy one good item which lasts for a significant time, than purchasing a less expensive item and replacing it two or three times.
Feel free to contact us by email: info@RudolphsFurnitureButte.com
or by telephone: 406-782-2100
The community of Butte has contributed a great deal to the success of our business. It is our philosophy that we want to, whenever possible, give back to the community. We have had the opportunity to contribute in many ways. During the time period from the 1960's through the 1980's, the business area surrounding our store had a merchants' association, East Park Merchants Association. Lew, Newt, and Mike all served in leadership positions, each serving terms as Mayor. Mike has served the civic community on the Parking Commission of Butte-Silver Bow since 1979. Lew, Mike, and Pam are very involved with their Jewish congregation's Board of Directors. Each has served as President of the congregation for two years each. Lew, Bev (Lew's wife), Mike, and Pam have offered their services to community groups such as Boy Scouts, PTA Associations, and sports organizations as their children were growing up. Beverly has volunteered at the Crest Nursing Home each weekday from 9 am to 4 pm, as well as many evening and weekend hours since 1976. She has accumulated tens of thousands of volunteer hours as a volunteer coordinator. She was recently honored by the Montana Standard as a 2007 Woman of Distinction. Following are some of the professional associations to which Rudolph's are members:
- Member of Pacific Furniture Dealers (Mike is serving as a board member)
- Member of Western Home Furnishings Association
- Member of National Home Furnishings Association
- Member of National Federation of Independent Businesses
- Member of National Federation of Independent Business
- Member of Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce (Pam is serving as a member of the Retail Committee)
- Member of National Chamber of Commerce
- Member of Mainstreet Uptown Butte
- Recipient of 2002 Montana Small Business of the Year Award
- Recipient of the SBA's 2008 Montana Family Owned Small Business of the Year Award
- Chairman of Butte-Silver Bow County Parking Commission (Mike)
We continually try to keep our sales staff up-to-date with sales training and trend awareness. Our staff are all "Certified furniture sales and fundamentals specialists." These designations were obtained by successfully completing training through The Furniture Training Co. Additionally, our staff recently attended a seminar in Oregon which was conducted by nationally recognized trainer Jody Seivert. In 2011 the sales staff completed Sales By Design training through the Furniture Brands University.