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Arthur Rome Retires from Rome Furniture

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Arthur Rome, longtime President of Rome Furniture, retired this week after 45 years working for the family-owned Rome Furniture, located at 562 Main St. in Gardner.

Rome Sales Company was founded as an appliance store on Main Street in Gardner by Jim Rome and his brother, Buddy Rome, in 1945. When Buddy passed away, Joe Rome — their youngest brother — joined the company. As the market grew, Jim and Joe Rome expanded the business to include furniture and televisions.

In 1972, Jim’s son Arthur Rome joined the company after completing college at the University of Hartford. Bruce Rome, Arthur’s cousin and Joe’s son, joined the company in 1990. The company moved to its current store location in 1998, renovating and restoring the historic Hartshorn mill. The store features 40,000 square feet of showroom space displayed on three floors. After Jim passed away in 1979, his brother Joe became President and Arthur stepped into the Vice President role. Many furniture manufacturers, such as Nichols and Stone, Heywood Wakefield, and Conant Ball, were the economic cornerstones of Gardner, MA and the surrounding areas during that time. These mills, combined with the furniture retailers in Gardner, contributed to the city becoming known as “the Furniture Capital of New England.” Arthur spearheaded several campaigns, forging an alliance of retailers and furniture makers into a successful cooperative for furniture shopping in New England.

Bruce Rome, of Holden, Massachusetts, has assumed the Managing Partner role at Rome and looks forward to the many growth opportunities ahead. As a second-generation owner, Bruce, like Arthur, has grown-up in the business, working in many departments. As a graduate of Boston University in 1982, Bruce spent several years in the real estate industry in California, before returning to Rome in 1990 and joining Arthur in the operation of the family business. “I’m particularly interested in the dynamics of a smaller, independent business amongst the increased growth of big box retailers,” Bruce said. “And I plan to deepen Rome’s commitment to showcasing Made in America and Made in New England goods.”

Arthur will continue to serve the company as a consultant while Rome further extends its commitment to the local community and New England.

For more information contact: Linda Ruscio, General Manager, linda@romefurniture.com

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