Jon Vigre Looks Back on the Early Days of Home Carpet Warehouse

The Home Carpet Warehouse team includes (from left) Randy Hall, Willy Vigre, Jay Trinklein, and Rich Cline.

Home Carpet Warehouse sits on a hill overlooking McDonald’s and Staples. Long-time residents of the Twin Cities can still be heard referring to this location as the former Hill Top Fitness Center. As a teenager, owner, Jon Vigre used to work out and hang out at Hill Top. “I never thought as a kid, I’d be owning the place,” said Vigre.

Vigre got his start in the flooring business in Laguna Beach, when he moved in with an aunt at the age of 21. “I was an installer for three or four months,” said Vigre, before moving into sales. “At 23, I was the top sales person, and between 24 and 27, I was the manager,” he said. Vigre learned all facets of the business from accounting to sales, inventory and ordering.

home carpet warehouse
Jon Vigre, President of Home Carpet Warehouse, holds a king salmon while fishing with Clancy Holt in Patagonia Chile.

Then he encountered what he called “the first recession,” following the Persian Gulf War in 1991. “It was like someone turned the faucet off in 60 days,” he said. In a month, revenue dropped from $160,000 to $60,000. “We went from having twenty to thirty people a day to one in a day,” he said. “It cost my former boss his store,” said Vigre.

That recession was the motivation for his return to Lewis County. He missed home, friends and family. “We started Home Carpet Warehouse where Staples sits today in a 1800 sf building in 1994. Then we were in the old Sertoma Bingo Hall in 2001,” recalled Vigre.

He purchased the former fitness center in 1999 following a mudslide resulting from the 1996 flood. “The metal culvert collapsed,” he said. “It’s fixed now. They rerouted it in 1997.”

home carpet warehouse
The Home Carpet Warehouse provides carpet, flooring, counters and cabinets to customers.

Carpet remnants are stored in the former racquetball courts. Flooring is displayed in the previous cardio room. The cabinet room was once the pool room and the front reception area used to be the kitchen.

The move significantly increased his space. “I went from 5,500 square feet to 20,000 square feet,” he said. His business provides flooring, counters and cabinets for residential, commercial and property management customers. Vigre has nine employees including his son, Willy, and his wife, Michelle, who does the bookkeeping for the business.

When Staples moved in, Vigre said it “cleaned up the neighborhood.” Overlooking two nationally recognized businesses has been good for his business. “McDonald’s and Staples are good neighbors,” he said.

Inside his store, customers will find a relaxed, low-pressure atmosphere. Flatscreen televisions are dotted throughout the store broadcasting a variety of games or sportsman shows. “We’re all sports fans here,” said Vigre.

home carpet warehouse
Jay Trinklein shows a counter option available at the Home Carpet Warehouse.

Vigre is quick to recognize the contributions of all his employees both at work and in the community.

Jay Trinklein is his cabinet expert. He works from blueprints, photos, and descriptions. “We design on a computer,” Trinklein said.

Randy Hall and Rich Cline cover flooring. Outside the store, Hall coaches sixth grade girls and boys youth basketball in Winlock, serves as vice president of the Winlock Basketball Association, participates in the board of the Winlock Football Association, and is a member of theWinlock School Board. Cline coaches Chehalis football, Chehalis Youth Basketball, and Chehalis Youth Fastpitch.

Aside from running a successful business, and earning the Best in Lewis County Award for Carpet and Flooring every year since 2004, Vigre has coached youth flag football with the Lewis County League in Mossyrock as well as sixth grade girls’ basketball in the same league.

home carpet warehouse
Jon Vigre also coaches his son’s flag football team. Tyce Vigre is located to the right of his father in the photograph.

Home Carpet Warehouse
www.homecarpet.net
1793 NE Kresky Ave in Chehalis
360-748-1650
Hours: Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed on Sunday

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