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A 50 Year Timeline


Jan 28th, 2022

by Tile Wholesalers of Rochester

Alan, Dave, Kathryn, and Conor celebrate three-generations and 50 years!

At the beginning of the year, we announced that it's our 50th year anniversary since our founding in 1972. We're planning to celebrate all year long and wanted to start by sharing a few special milestones. Below is a timeline of TEN monumental Tile Wholesalers of Rochester moments!

June 1, 1972: Founded by Alan Firkins

On June 1, 1972, Alan Firkins founded Tile Wholesalers of Rochester and began selling tile wholesale to contractors and tile installation companies. Since then, we’ve expanded our clientele to include selling directly to homeowners, designers, and more. Alan founded the company on family values and believed that relationships would be the key to success. He wasn’t wrong!

1981: First showroom of its kind in the area located at 1316 E. Ridge Road

In 1981, Tile Wholesalers of Rochester opened its doors at 1316 E. Ridge Road and became the first showroom of its kind in the Rochester Metro Area. This major step for home and commercial renovation made choosing tile more accessible for the client and also allowed the opportunity to build relationships and connect. It was a hands-on experience like no other at the time. Here’s a picture of Alan in circa 1981.

Early 80’s: Dave joins his father at Tile Wholesalers of Rochester as a teenager

At the age of 8, Dave began spending time at work with his father.  Through his high school years, he helped out in whatever way his father needed him to. Once in college, Dave would come home on weekends and breaks and work with his father learning the ropes and developing relationships. Dave remembers one of the first things Alan taught him about the business, which was “Don't be afraid of hard work; out work and out-service your competitors.”

Dave trying out the tub in the almost completed first showroom of its kind in the area.

1987: Dave joins Tile Wholesalers of Rochester full time

After completing his Accounting Degree at SUNY Geneseo, Dave started  his career with Tile Wholesalers and it was nothing but full steam ahead.  While Tile Wholesalers of Rochester had been a family business from the start, Dave getting to work every day with his father brought it to new heights. 

1991: Tile Wholesalers of Rochester moves to a larger location at 470 Hollenbeck Street and rebrands

The 90s were a busy time! In 1991, Tile Wholesalers of Rochester expanded to a much needed larger space at 470 Hollenbeck Street. This allowed room for growth and more tile. As part of the new location, Tile Wholesalers saw our first rebrand featuring a new logo which served us for the next 25 years! Here’s what our logo looked like:

And here’s a photo of Dave at his new desk!

1997: Alan retires and Dave becomes President

In 1997,  Alan decided to retire and Dave was ready to begin the next chapter of Tile Wholesalers as  President. His vision brought Tile Wholesalers back to East Ridge Road in 2004 as the entire operation moved to our current location at 1136 East Ridge Road.

Dave and his daughter Shannon and son Conor pose in front of 1136 East Ridge Road.

Dave and his daughter Shannon and son Conor pose in front of 1136 East Ridge Road.

We officially moved into the space with new signage out front!

2014: Kathryn joins the team

In 2014  Dave’s wife, Kathryn, joined the team! Kathryn loves working with her husband each day and sharing his passion for all things tile.  Together they have continued to grow their family business to a new level.

2016: Second rebrand

Nearly 25 years after the previous refresh, Tile Wholesalers of Rochester got a new logo! It’s the same classic design that we still use today. As you can see, we added “Celebrating 50 Years” to it. We plan to keep it this way all year long! 

We updated our exterior signage at the showroom to represent the rebrand.

2021: Conor joins the team

In the midst of a global pandemic, we were fortunate to bring on the third-generation, Conor Firkins! Conor worked at Tile Wholesalers all throughout his younger years, working alongside his father in both the showroom and warehouse during both high school and college. After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 2018, Conor lived and worked in Cleveland and Boston. But Tile Wholesalers has always been in his DNA. After gaining valuable sales and work experience, Conor made the decision to move back home and re-joined the team officially in 2021.  He’s come a long way since his days of answering the phone!

June 1, 2022: 50 Years in Business

And that all brings us to now! In June, we’ll be celebrating 50 years. But during 2022, we want to celebrate so much more than just a number. We’re celebrating the loyal customers, contractors, designers, and homeowners we’ve worked with over the years who have been an integral part of our growth and our longevity. We’re celebrating the staff that has become part of the Tile Wholesalers of Rochester family and brought their expertise and kind hearts to the showroom, warehouse, and our outside sales. And lastly, we’re celebrating our product – tile – with its beauty, strength, and longevity. Join us in celebrating tile, the product that  Alan began with  50 years ago, and that Dave, Kathryn, Conor, and the entire family at Tile Wholesalers share their knowledge about each and every day with pride in our past, our present, and our future. Cheers to 50 more!