Hard work and a customer focus have led to more than 50 years of steady success for Stark County's leading flooring specialist.
K Carpet & Rug Gallery, at 4611 Everhard Road NW, has Stark County covered. Literally.
Well, at least its floors.
Since 1968, this family-owned and operated company has provided all types of floor coverings to residents of Canton and the surrounding communities.
Brothers Duke and Mike Kanam were teenagers when they started the company with their parents, John and Zella.
John operated Alka Aluminum, a siding and remodeling company in an office in the back of K Carpet’s first location. Duke and Mike sold carpet out of the showroom in the front.
“We did everything back then,” Mike said. “We unloaded trucks, sold carpet, rode around with the installers, and more. This helped us develop a strong work ethic.”
Even today, Duke, Mike and the lean team at K Carpet get their hands into many aspects of the business.
Between flurries of phone calls, emails, texts and face-to-face interactions, the K Carpet team remains steadfastly focused on satisfying its customers with quality products and outstanding service.
K Carpet offers a vast selection of carpet and rugs, as well as wood, vinyl, ceramic, laminate and natural stone flooring.
The company has seen steady growth over the years, but there was one fateful day in the mid-1970s that changed everything.
“A black Cadillac pulled up in front of the store,” Mike said. “Roger DeVille got out and asked for my dad. He said, ‘I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.’”
John wanted the bad news first. DeVille had just bought the property and was going to tear the K Carpet store down to build a Wendy’s restaurant.
The good news was that DeVille had another location for K Carpet in Belden Village, the most bustling place in Stark County at the time. “That was a life-changing moment for K Carpet,” Mike said.
Location. Location. Location.
The company began to grow in its new spot, and growth has continued. The Kanam brothers credit DeVille, in part, for that growth.
“DeVille has been a great landlord and great customer for us,” Mike said.
In the 1970s, Penney’s, Higbee’s and Sears were selling a lot of carpet. But specialty carpet stores, with more of a focus on customer service, were beginning to surface.
Duke said at one time, K Carpet had four locations, three in the Canton area and one in Alliance.
“We decided to consolidate into one store, because most customers were coming to Belden Village anyway,” Duke said. “It made good business sense.”
The store has operated out of its third location, on Everhard Road, for the past four years.
Residential work represents about 70 percent of K Carpet’s business today, with the balance being commercial jobs. The company has helped beautify many local homes as well as many commercial buildings over the years.
Office Manager Barb Danner handles accounting and finance, and has been with K Carpet for about one year. Marilyn Kanam, Duke’s wife of 35 years, has worked at K Carpet for 15 years handling many front- and back-end functions.
“Without a back office, you don’t have a company,” Marilyn said. “We all work together to provide a great customer experience.”
K Carpet also has four carpet installation crews and four hard surface installation crews that are consistently kept busy. That’s more than 20 installers working every day.
Hard surfaces have taken a chunk out of carpet sales, according to Mike. And that’s expected to continue. To stay on top of this trend, K Carpet has placed much more emphasis on hard surfaces in recent years.
But many hard surfaces also need a rug, so K Carpet has become a leading Northeast Ohio fabricator of custom rugs, runners and staircases.
K Carpet sells brands including Dream Weaver, Kane, Mohawk, Shaw, Stanton and Tuftex, to name a few.
“If customers need flooring that costs $10 per yard, or $100 per yard, we’ve got it covered,” Mike said. “When it comes to flooring, we’re soup to nuts.”
K Carpet competes with several other locally owned carpet and flooring companies. And of course, the big box stores.
But it’s the customer service that helps the company stand out.
“We do what we can to satisfy every customer who walks in the door,” Marilyn said.
K Carpet has done more than its share to help support our community. From Aultman Hospital to Domestic Violence Project to Mercy Medical Center to Rotary Club of Plain Township to Wishes Can Happen, K Carpet has invested time and money to make a difference.
And, just as long as there are floors in Stark County, K Carpet will continue to be relied upon to cover them beautifully.