The Yetzer family is no longer directly involved in the longtime furniture and flooring business in Waconia, but the name and its principles remain the same.
“My mom and dad used to buy all their furniture from Yetzer’s,” said Sarah P., of Waconia, who paused her window shopping recently to reminisce. “I still have a rocker they bought from here a long time ago. My husband and I now buy most of our furniture and things here. And our daughter just bought a home in the Cities and is going to furnish it from Yetzer’s.”
While the appearance of Yetzer’s Furnishings and Flooring has been updated over the years, other parts have remained original, such as the squeaky steps and floors. And it’s that warm and homey feeling that the business calls “The Magic Behind the Y.”
“We are a personalized business,” said owner Tom Wiest, who has been in the retail for 36 years and purchased Yetzer’s Furnishings and Flooring in 2015. “We want a customer to feel a certain comfort level as soon as they walk in the door.
“We gather input from our customers and also our employees on what to buy and sell here. And we try to take the best from each company we buy from to make up a diverse background.”
Tom Wiest, who has been in the retail industry for 36 years, has owned Yetzer’s since 2015. He takes pride in the business’ customer service. “We want a customer to feel a certain comfort level as soon as they walk in the door,” he said. Contributed photo
Even though Wiest is the head of the company, he doesn’t feel above anyone else that works at Yetzer’s.
“We take the strengths from each employee here,” he said. “My strength is in sales, so that’s why the title on my business card says ‘Sales and Operations’ instead of owner.
“Someone else who works here might be strong in design or finance, so we play to their strengths and put them in those areas. And instead of being accountable to someone above them, everyone here is accountable to each other. We all work together. Basically, we took the ‘org chart’ and flattened it.”
One of the more popular services offered by Yetzer’s is its free interior in-home design consultation; whether or not the person buys from Yetzer’s or from another store.
“No catch, no gimmick, no kidding,” Wiest remarked. “It’s a way to show them that we are here to help, even if they might not have made a purchase from us.”
And it’s that type of customer relations that have customers appreciative of the Yetzer’s tradition of going out of their way to make them feel special.
The furniture in the showroom at Yetzer’s is constantly changing. Contributed photo
“I am so impressed with Yetzer’s customer service and selection,” said Ann M. “The designers help you put together a room the way you envision it at no cost. Yetzer’s will help you pull your room together with custom fabrics, design, flooring and accessories. I highly recommend them.”
Wilfred R. Yetzer founded Yetzer’s Home Furnishings and Flooring in 1941. The family business remained in the Yetzer family for three generations until 2015 when Wiest purchased it.
“I am aware of the history of this store and why it has been so successful,” Wiest said. “We are keeping with those same types of values and giving the customer what they want.”
The furniture portion of the business is in the same Yetzer’s building on West First Street that it has been in since 1941. The flooring part of the business was moved to a remodeled building on nearby Olive Street in early the 2000s, giving it three times the space it had previously and making it easier for Yetzer’s to create better displays for its flooring and window treatments. The warehouse is also now located on Olive Street in Waconia.
“After having the worst possible experience with a general contractor, we worked with Yetzer’s to do our flooring,” said Tim E. “They were by far and away the best flooring company we have ever worked with. The quality of workmanship was outstanding. We referred several of our neighbors to them once they saw the work they did for us.”
When it comes to retail, it’s all about what you offer to your customers, Wiest feels.
“It really does matter what you sell,” he noted. “Retail is really creating and building strong and positive relationships with people. I really enjoy helping our customers solve their needs and helping our team spread its wings so we can evolve into the best home furnishings and flooring company that we were meant to be.”
Yetzer’s is located at 33 West 1st Street in Waconia. It has been serving the area for 77 years. Contributed photo
And customers enjoy spending time in a store where they feel important.
“We have purchased nearly all of our furniture for two different homes from Yetzer’s,” said Linda S. “We looked at other places, but always came back to Yetzer’s for the selection, quality and service they provide. It is so fun to walk through the store because there is always something new to see, and in my case, most likely purchase. This is my favorite furniture store in all of the metro area.”
Outside the Yetzer’s storefront, a group of employees from another nearby business stopped to window shop at Yetzer’s before going to lunch.
“I’ll take this furniture store over any other I’ve been in,” Shelly H. said. “And I’ve been in some big stores in the Twin Cities. The Yetzer’s people really make a customer feel welcome. And they don’t push things on you just for the sake of trying to sell you something. That’s what I like the most.”
There are no entry-level brands at Yetzer’s. Instead, everything they sell is mid-to-upper end, as they are in bigger market stores. Because of a lower overhead, Yetzer’s can boast a high quality store without the high prices, even if the majority of its sales are custom special orders.
Most of the sales at Yetzer’s are custom special orders.
“Going custom doesn’t mean expensive,” Wiest said. “It means you get what you want.”
In-house designers at Yetzer’s can help customers get the right furniture and décor to liven up any room. Contributed photo
Yetzer’s in-house selection of furniture for any room, a complete line of flooring and surfaces, art, décor, area rugs, window fashions, lighting and bedding allow you to make the majority of your home selections all from the same location. A customer’s designer is supported by a knowledgeable sales support team, and together they will help create and set up the home of your dreams to be enjoyed for generations.
Designers at Yetzer’s can also assist a customer in selecting a certain style to fit a home, such as contemporary, industrial, lakeside, mid-century modern, rustic, traditional, transitional or Victorian.
Yetzer’s will also deliver and assemble your items, and stage the items in your home if needed. They will take back any old items you no longer want and dispose of them or donate them to a nonprofit organization they partner with that provides furniture and household goods to those in need.
That’s the “Magic Behind the Y.” And customers have been enjoying that magic in and around the west metro area for over 77 years.
Yetzer’s is located at 33 West 1st St in Waconia. They are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.