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Fruehauf’s Patio: Outdoor Furnishings Store Wins National Recognition with ICFA Apollo Award

October 7th, 2011 Posted in Noteworthy

Fruehauf’s Patio: Outdoor Furnishings Store Wins National Recognition with ICFA Apollo Award

Posted by on Friday, October 7, 2011 ·

Mary Fruehauf accepts Apollo Award at International Casual Furnishing Association’s Award Ceremony Held in Chicago

 When Mary Fruehauf, president and owner of Fruehauf’s in Boulder, found out that her store had been selected by the International Casual Furnishings Association to receive their annual Apollo Award, “I was texting everyone as fast as I could to tell them the news, it was so exciting!”

Recipients of the Apollo Award are chosen by manufacturers, sales representatives and other retailers in the casual furnishings industry to recognize businesses that have shown excellence in retail sales and marketing and a commitment to outstanding customer service. Fruehauf’s was chosen as the winner in the Single Store category.

This was the first time a store in Colorado had won the award, which made the recognition even more special, Fruehauf says. “Typically, this award is won by stores in larger markets, like Los Angeles, Miami and Dallas. They tend to be big stores and more people know about them.’

To go toe-to-toe with the big stores, Fruehauf’s, which was opened in 1978 by Mary Fruehauf’s parents, had to really stand out. “Our store looks different,” she explains. “It’s not just a box in a strip mall, it’s visually interesting. It was designed by a local architect and complements the neighborhood. We have wonderful employees who stay with us for a long time and we work hard on our customer service. We try to improve all the time.”

“As a store in Boulder, we are fortunate with a community where people really enjoy the active, outdoor lifestyle. It’s beautiful here. I don’t think we’re ever going to hear someone say ‘Oh, let’s just stay inside this season. Let’s not sit outside on the patio or cook on the barbecue.’ We went to Chicago to pick up the award for everybody, really. It was our store, our employees and our community who won this award. This has been a difficult year for many businesses, and yet we have had one of our best years ever. We are very thankful.”
The 52nd annual awards event was held in Chicago’s historic Field Museum. “It was a little scary to go up on stage and speak to the huge audience in this very elegant setting,” Fruehauf says. “I hadn’t really written an acceptance speech, but I had a few things that I wanted to say. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, actually. Our general manager, Mariah Maydew thanked our peers for their recognition, and I wanted to tell everyone how lucky we are to be in this great outdoor industry. Outdoor furnishings have improved so much, from the old easy-to-break plastic chairs and such, to today’s comfortable recliners in new materials.”

Fruehauf’s annual Holiday Open House, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4 from 7 to 9 p.m., is a great way to kick off the holiday season. The event started in their first year, as a way to thank all the builders, plumbers, contractors and neighbors who had helped the store to get started. “Now, it’s a chance to thank our customers, and for people to get in the holiday mood and start thinking about decorating their homes. We have over 200 Christmas trees decorated in just about every theme possible, and the whole store has lots of holiday lighting. Sometimes I think you must be able to see us from outer space,” Fruehauf says with a laugh. “People tell us that they have been coming to our open house since they were little kids.”

You are invited to come enjoy free refreshments, the a cappella sounds of New Wizard Oil Combination, the holiday exhibits, and tour the Dream Backyard to see the collection of complementary products from local suppliers that you can choose to create your very own perfect outdoor living space. “It’s kind of like a year-round home and garden show that changes with each season,” Mary Fruehauf says.

For more information, visit Fruehauf’s at 1665 33rd Street. in Boulder, or call 303.449.9551. Fruehauf’s is open seven days a week.

Article written by L.L. Charles for At Home

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