Back to Work
At first, he and his small staff would "jump up and down with joy when we had a $500 day." Eventually, "We did $1,000 days. Some months we had $2,000 days. Last year, we had a $5,000 day!" when someone paid $3,100 for a three-piece cherry bedroom set. He takes a fifty percent commission on each sale and has opened a second location, in Jackson.
The stores carry other things besides furniture. An old-fashioned carousel horse and a giant stuffed lion were on sale last month--along with fur coats, forties-style bar chairs, and good china. "This is a fun business," Grammatico admits. But, he stresses, "I am not getting rich. Joe is not getting rich!"
Because he never declared bankruptcy, he's still deep in debt. Last summer, he, his wife, Allison Losacco, and their eleven-year-old son had to move when Bank of America foreclosed on their home--one he'd built but couldn't sell.
The move from a five-bedroom house to a small condo upset their son, but he finds solace in hanging around his dad's interesting store. With home building finally showing signs of life, Grammatico says, he might go back to that business again on a smaller scale--maybe one house a year. But even if he does, he's keeping the store.