Family business: 'Bob & Sons' refinishing business still going strong after six decades
One local business has been contributing to its community for decades and continues to do so while keeping it in the family. In 1963, Bobby Johnson started his business as a wood refinisher in Kensington - all from the comfort of his basement. Today, his shop is at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Bob & Sons restores old and new furniture. Its main specialties include woodwork in brownstones, churches, hotels, restaurants, floors, kitchen cabinets and more. The shop has expanded beyond Mr. Johnson, now that his son, grandson and brothers-in-law are all part of the business.
"It is great, I got my son, I got my grandson, I got my brother-in-law, and it's a beautiful thing," said founder Bobby Johnson. "I love it."
He also said starting the business in 1963 was monumental for African American business owners.
"A lot of people of our color didn't have businesses, and I just thank God that I was about to start a business and keep it up for this many years," Johnson said.
Mr. Johnson's son, Daniel, says he started working with his dad when he was 12 years old, and vividly remembers how he got involved.
"During the summer, I went to Bishop Loughlin down the street, and it wasn't uniforms, you had to dress to impress," said Daniel Johnson. "During the summer, my father says, 'You want the designer clothes? You got to work.' So, we had to work every summer to get to that. He gave us a great work ethic."
Bob & Sons is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.