Family business's difficult call to shut doors
A WELL-RESPECTED family business is preparing to mark the end of an era in March when it will shut down a major part of its operation.
Fernvale's Elken Better Home Living and Electrical is promoting a closing down sale following what manager Michael Frohloff described as a difficult decision.
Mr Frohloff, whose parents Ken and Liz have owned the business more than 15 years, including the past five years at Fernvale, said the expiry of the lease was a major factor.
"The building we are in was purchased some time ago and the owner has some ideas of what they want to do," he said.
"Unfortunately for us there is not really any other location big enough and relocating would be expensive."
The family's additional flooring and kitchen businesses will remain in operation.
Mr Frohloff said the family was hoping to keep as many of its small team of employees as possible.
"Luckily we have been able to keep the flooring going, which is a really strong side of the business," he said.
"It is definitely a bit sad to lose the whitegoods and furniture side of the business but we are just looking at it as that's how thing go sometimes.
"We have been fortunate to have a lot of support from our customers."
With rapid growth in Fernvale and surrounding areas in the past decade, Mr Frohloff said he remained positive about the future for businesses in the Somerset Region.
"There are houses going up everywhere. It is definitely booming," he said.
"The foot traffic is always pretty good."
Elken Better Home Living will close March 30.