As a U.S. business in northeast region of the country, in which there are sharp and extreme changes to each season, we certainly qualify for such a title. For those not familiar with this area, it's a region in which the temperatures can be in the single digits in the wintertime and be pushing triple digits in the summertime! Even the predictability of those extreme weather patterns have become somewhat puzzling in recent years. Heck, it was 37 degrees (F.) this morning with a light mix of rain and snow falling, which would be fine if today wasn't April 6th!
So that said, this post may only be of great interest to New Yorkers, New Jerseyites and New Englanders, along with much of the Eastern Seaboard. This may also appeal to Upper Midwesterners, Pacific Northwesterners and Rocky Mountain folk. The post may be of great 'irrelevance' to most of California, the Southwest, the Deep South and Hawaii - but I digress.
As those who may be familiar with our company (or who have read previous posts in this blog), we are basically 'two-companies-in-one'. But it didn't happen as a matter of concern for having a 'summer-ready' business in the summer and a 'winter-ready' business in the winter. In fact, winter and summer aren't even our strongest times of year- spring and autumn are (and that happened progressively in a very personal way).
As shown on our history page, we were originally a purveyor of hand-crafted pool-tables on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. But the founder's son personally loved bowling so much (at one time belonging to five leagues on a weekly basis), that he extended that passion into the company's business. The sport's popularity was escalating on an unprecedented scale at the time in the 1940s and 1950s. So it turned out to be quite a wise move and the growing pool-table shop on the Bowery also became the first call shop for bowling balls and supplies as well. At one time, we had lines out the door and around the corner for the most popular bowling ball brand of that era (Manhattan Rubber), which were expertly fitted and drilled by none other than the founder's son himself!
Now this was all well and good. But as we discovered, there is an ebb and flow in the popularity of recreational sports, sports leagues are ultimately seasonal, and businesses (meaning: the people in business) pay bills year round. Bowling leagues at that time of great popularity were predominantly "trophy leagues" - meaning that winning teams were awarded trophies at the end of each season. The founder's grandson picked up on that as an opportunity when it was time to expand our business and expand our reach in the greater New York metropolitan area. In fact, he picked up on it and took it a few steps further. It was nice to see people who bowl being recognized for a job well done and be able to capitalize on that. But aren't all competitive sports conducted and concluded this way? Also, don't all people have a need to be recognized for a job well done?
Those questions would be answered definitively when our Yonkers store opened in 1959. Subsequently, Loria would become the most popular supplier of bowling trophies in the New York metropolitan area. This eventually leads to building an in-house production shop for the manufacturing of every type of award product conceivable.
Two moves and fifty-nine years later, Loria continues in Yonkers, New York, as an established and well-recognized, fourth-generation family business. Even though the original NYC location was eventually closed in 1998, we have retained the trade of our company's founding (pool tables, pool-table supplies and service). We also expanded into previously uncharted territory with the introduction of recreational darts in the 1990s, as well as expanding our all-purpose recognition business - a division that has become an integral part of our company. Since its introduction in the late 1950s, our recognition division has grown from supplying trophies to bowling leagues to literally providing "awards for all occasions" as well as innovative, in-house engraving services.
Even though the bowling division was subsequently discontinued after roughly fifty years, due to drops in the sports popularity over the years, it deserves a nod of gratitude as it was that division which subsequently opened the door to our recognition business - a part of our company that has expanded exponentially over the years and remains perpetually as the steady, predominant staple in our company.
What's more, and perhaps the most important point of this article, is that even though we are indeed a "company for all seasons", we do not selectively do one thing in one season and something else in another season. We are here year-round serving the needs of our customers in both our original pool-table/pool-table service division and our expansive awards/engraving division. As I mentioned earlier, we are still in fact "a company for all seasons" - just not the usual type.