CONCORD, Calif. — It takes more than a fire to keep you down when your great-grandfather’s legacy is on your shoulders, and you remember your dad surviving a store fire 43 years ago.
“Sitting around and crying wasn’t an option,” says John Schwartz, CEO of Sam Clar Office Furniture, whose location for nearly 40 years in Concord was destroyed in a spectacular blaze last Thanksgiving. “My dad brought the company back from the fire he experienced, so I knew we could do it too,” said Schwartz, the fourth generation member of the Clar family to operate the business.
Just nine months after the fire, Sam Clar’s new 24,000 square foot showroom, office, and distribution center has opened to the public at 2500 Bisso Lane in Concord, a short five minutes from their former location. “From standard desks to benching stations to collaborative areas, our new showroom, which alone measures 12,000 square feet, allows us to display a variety of real-world office settings in one place,” says Schwartz.
“We’re glad to have our new facility open. And with rising San Francisco rents creating a migration to the East Bay, we are ready to provide a hassle-free furnishing experience to small, medium, and large businesses,” says Schwartz.
Word of the devastating fire reached Schwartz as he and his family were just finishing Thanksgiving dinner. “I got a call and rushed to the office hoping the fire was small, only to see our building fully engulfed,” he says.
Schwartz credits the flexibility and dedication of his staff in helping Sam Clar make it through the fire. “We stayed focused on our clients and our projects,” he says. “That focus allowed us to deliver 99% of our orders on schedule, despite the massive disruption. With our new facility and showroom, we’re in much better shape today, and we couldn’t be happier.”