Kenneth E. Dudley, born in Westerlo and raised in Freehold, founded Tip Top Furniture in 1978. I guess one could say that Ken was always a mover and shaker because he decided to get into the furniture business after buying a truckload of shoes off a buddy, which he then sold from the porch of his home in Freehold. Soon thereafter, he started to buy truckloads of furniture and shortly after that he bought the original Tip Top Furniture building. It was a brick building last operated as a tractor store connected to the Freehold Country Store. As time went on, there were many changes made to the Tip Top building. This was to make room for the many things that Tip Top sold over the years. In the 80’s, we were one of the first to sell satellite dishes. In addition, Tip Top sold kitchen cabinets, appliances, TV's, wall paper, flooring, window treatments and lighting. Anything needed for one’s home Ken tried to make room to sell. It was the beginning of his vision. One-stop shopping in Freehold! Who would have thunk it!
Tragically, Ken lost his nearly 30,000 sq. ft. store and warehouse to a fire in 1990. One would think Ken would have given up after this, but instead he put up a tent in the front lot, ordered a new set of catalogs from his manufacturers and forged forward. He had a family to feed and people relying on him who had to do the same for theirs.
In 2010 Ken partered with the Serta Bedding plant in Coxsackie New York to put in an America's Mattress store in the Freehold location as well as a free standing store in Hudson.
Here we are in 2011 standing tall through recessions, tragedies and crises. It is this fight that has made us what we are. The store has been family-run and operated since the very start. Ken's nieces, nephews, sister, and even his father-in-law worked for him. Even Ken's mother worked at Tip Top. His daughter fondly tells stories of getting off the school bus at Tip Top and helping her grandmother clean the store, learning to dust with the grain of the wood and that little people were better at dusting under tables than the bigger ones. For her efforts, Mae Dudley would take Donna Mae to the corner store for a 25 cent ice cream cone, which she would eat while her grandmother read her a story.
If you walk into Tip Top these days you will be likely to see PaPa Ken having his grandchildren teach him how to use his Iphone while Donna Mae and Brian and their significant others running the day to day. Ken, 66 years young this year is trying to figure out what to move and shake next while his immediate family takes care of the details. If you have read this and you stop by be sure to say howdy to one of the Dudley’s and they are likely to offer you a cup of coffee and ask you to stay a while.
Hi, Bob. We would like to express to both you and Donna Mae our heartfelt gratitude for the BEAUTIFUL furniture we have been able to purchase this year through Tip Top. We acknowledge how hard you both worked to provide what we were looking for--no pressure, which is so typical of many people in sales positions--just relationship and the desire to do your best to help people secure what they're looking for.
We DEFINITELY intend on recommending Tip Top to anyone looking to make their home more beautiful (special plug for you, Bob). We have purchased from the store three times since we've been married in 2003, having a different sales person each time. We have consistently found anyone representing this business to be very professional in appearance and conduct. We have always been able to purchase just what we needed at the time.
Being business people ourselves, we understand the importance of supporting local businesses, rather than chain stores, to help keep them afloat. We'll see you on 9/11.
Always, Joy and Dante
When we decided to build our second home on Windham Mountain, we knew we wanted to use local businesses for the project. One of those businesses would be a furniture store. We were looking for a local store that would provide a quality furniture and good service. After several phone interviews I not only found a furniture store with friendly service but also a furniture store that could accommodate our needs. That was Tip Top Furniture!
We made an appointment and discussed some major details of the house. It was recommended that we bring the floor plans so their representative could be more helpful with our selection. The initial meeting with Donna Mae was fantastic! In five hours we had chosen not only our furniture for the six bedroom house but we also had the benefit of a decorator at our finger tips. From each piece of furniture to the smallest items we were able to complete the finishing touch. We had the fabrics chosen for the window treatments and all the bed ensembles, being able to coordinate all of this under one roof. No hassles of driving all over the county trying to coordinate with several professionals.
I must also give their service department a five star rating!
If you are looking for a one stop quality furniture store with a terrific staff and service department, there is only one place to go. Tip Top Furniture!
Thank you Donna Mae and Tip Top Furniture
Dr. Marc & Anna Feldman