A 50 Year Timeline

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 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 a very early age

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 to run every aspect of the operation and further 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.”

1987: Dave joins Tile Wholesalers full time

After completing his Accounting Degree at SUNY Geneseo, Dave started full time 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 moves to a larger location at 470 Hollenbeck Street and rebrands

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!

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. We added 10,000sf of warehouse space to the existing building and created a state of the art showroom!

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 the 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 in 2022, we added “Celebrating 50 Years” to it to commemorate our 50 years of serving the community.

2021: Conor joins the team

In 2021, 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.

June 1, 2022: 50 Years in Business

In June of 2022, we celebrated 50 years. During 2022, we wanted to celebrate so much more than just a number. We celebrated 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 celebrated 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 celebrated our product – tile – in all its forms 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!

September 2023: Showroom Remodel

In September 2023, we began a complete showroom remodel! We moved to a temporary showroom right next door to our 1136 E. Ridge Road showroom so we could continue to serve our customers during construction. The remodel consists of updating signage, new floors, new displays, new technology, more workstations, and much, much more! Stay tuned for information on our Grand Re-opening in 2024…