Our 95 Year Timeline
BILTRITE Furniture was founded by Irwin Kerns as an upholstery shop on 3rd and Garfield in Milwaukee. This location sold custom-made sofas for $1000 and created BILTRITE's reputation for better quality furniture that has carried on for four generations.
Irwin Kerns and his wife Frieda gave birth to their daughter, Claire. The Great Depression hit the country, but to stay in business, BILTRITE found a way to grow by developing its business plan of selling quality furniture with value, selection, and service at the lowest price. 90 plus years later, BILTRITE has weathered through many changes in the economy by following this same plan and is the oldest family furniture store in Milwaukee.
BILTRITE moved to 723 West Mitchell Street and started selling mattresses and became a full-line furniture store (bedroom, dining, etc.)
Claire K. married Mort and he joined the family business.
Marty K., 3rd Generation was born.
BILTRITE started attending furniture markets.
Maureen K., 3rd Generation, was born.
Marty K., began to help out on weekends.
Claire K. started working in the store.
Marty K. married Gail K. who joined the business as part of the 3rd generation of BILTRITE.
BILTRITE Celebrated 50 years!
Randi K., 4th Generation was born.
Brad K., 4th Generation, was born.
Randi K.’ s advertising debut.
1987: Maureen K. left her law practice to join her brother and father as they began to expand on Mitchell Street.
1988: BILTRITE won Milwaukee Magazine “Best of” for the first time.
1989: BILTRITE acquired an additional building on Mitchell Street and remodeled to connect four buildings, including the old Park movie theater and the A&P, as one large multi-level store.
BILTRITE became a founding member of Furniture 1st, a $2 billion buying group that helps independent retailers across the country pass savings onto consumers as well as compete with national chains.
Randi K., 4th Generation, graduated from High Point University in North Carolina with a Bachelor's Degree in Interior Design and a minor in Art. High Point University is the only college in the country that offers a Home Furnishings Program connected to the furniture industry. She returned to Milwaukee to join the family business full time.
Brad K. graduated from High Point University with Bachelor's Degrees in Home Furnishings Marketing, Home Furnishings Management and Business Administration. He returned to Milwaukee to join the family business full time.
BILTRITE purchased land in Greenfield to build a new facility.
BILTRITE’s logo got a refresh
BILTRITE relocated to the new 65,000 sq. ft. location in Greenfield.
Randi K. became BILTRITE's spokesperson.
BILTRITE began to carry Amish furniture made in Holmes County, Ohio.
Randi K. married Eric.
BILTRITE was honored at the Better Business Bureau's 100th Anniversary Celebration at the Harley-Davidson Museum.
First annual food drive with United Way.
Randi K. welcomed Jordan, BILTRITE's first 5th Generation Family Member.
Mort K., 2nd Generation Family Member, passed away at the age of 85.
Sarah K., a 4th Generation Family member joined our sales team.
Maureen left the business.
Store mascot, Kugel.
Sales Team started training visits to Ohio Amish Builders.
Brad K. and Sarah K. welcomed Simon, 5th Generation.
BILTRITE set new store hours with Sunday closed to be with family!
Randi K., 4th generation, was selected as a member of the 40 under 40 for the Milwaukee Business Journal, Home Furnishings Business and Home Furnishings News.
Randi K. welcomed Sloan, 5th Generation.
BILTRITE began donating furniture to the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative.
Store mascot, Rosie.
Brad and Sarah welcomed Allison, 5th Generation.
Jordan was featured on the cover of Sleep Savvy Magazine.
Became a founder of the Home Furnishing Hall of Fame in High Point, NC.
BILTRITE added additional warehouse space offsite, totaling 40,000 sq. feet.
Sloan made her advertising debut.
BILTRITE won the Home Furnishings Association Retailer of the Year!
BILTRITE hosted their first ever Family Fun Day!