Shop Talk : Macdonald's Rugs & Carpets, in business for 70 years
Photo by Katryn Yerdon
If you are looking for new floor coverings, the family-owned and -operated Macdonald's Rugs & Carpets at 455 State Road in Vineyard Haven can help. Tucked away behind the Black Dog Café, Macdonald's has an open showroom filled with samples of the hottest trends in flooring, along with a knowledgeable staff to help you choose what suits your needs.
Opened in 1942 by Gil Macdonald, current owners Brent and Laura Cron bought the business in 1981. At the time, the Crons were newlyweds living in Pennsylvania and looking for their next adventure. Ms. Cron shares a look back at how they went from having visited the Island just a couple of times — her husband's parents had recently retired here — to moving here and becoming an integral part of the community.
"My husband had always wanted to be in business for himself, and my father-in-law called to say that there was a carpet store for sale on the Island. I had to work that weekend, but my husband said he was going to go up and check it out. The next thing I knew, he called to say he had bought it. Keep in mind, we had never even bought carpet. All we knew was fuzzy side up, and yet two weeks later here we were. Our premise was, we were young newlyweds with no children, so this would be the time, though two weeks after we arrived we got pregnant."
Oh, how the times have changed. Now the Crons have 31 years of flooring experience, along with an on-Island family that includes two daughters and two grandchildren.
In a recent conversation, Ms. Cron shared some of her extensive knowledge of flooring, carpet care and her favorites. When asked if she could share one thing that customers might not know about carpeting, what would it be?
"People should remember to maintain their carpets. It's like when you buy a car, an investment that you want to keep in shape. You wash your car regularly, but when people buy a carpet they will vacuum it but nothing else, and five years later they will say this looks awful. They will never have cleaned it, professionally or otherwise, and sand is the enemy here for every floor. Many people say they don't want to pay for a professional cleaning, but it is a really good investment, as you get many more years of life out of your carpet." While Macdonald's does not do cleanings, there are several on Island companies that do.
Looking to trends, Ms. Cron has a view. "What is interesting about flooring is we used to carpet everything but the kitchen and bathroom, and now it is more and more hard surface and less wall to wall carpet," she said. Area rugs are being used more on top of the hard surface instead. I think laminates have been big the last few years as they give you the look of wood without the expense, and there are some pluses to that, as they are really, really durable and don't scratch like wood. In carpeting, we are selling more and more wool, as it is a natural fiber, it cleans well, and it breaths."
Flooring comes in such a variety of material, styles, coloring, and combinations, it can be a little daunting. In reviewing Macdonald's current choices alone, they have products from more than 17 carpet companies, 10 area rug brands, along with several laminate and vinyl flooring options to choose from. What you also have is caring, experienced owners willing to help you choose. How to decide?
"A lot of it personal preference, budget, and allergies," Ms. Cron said. It is a misnomer that if you have allergies you should have a hard surface, because with a hard surface allergens can be stirred easily and fly around the air for you to breathe, whereas a clean carpet will trap the allergens and keep them from the air."
As for area rugs, Ms Cron has a preference." Capel Rugs because they cover all styles, from braids to modern, synthetic fibers to natural fibers, indoor to outdoor, they cover it all. I have sold them for probably 30 years, and I don't think I have ever had anyone complain about one."
Visit Brent and Laura Cron at Macdonald's Carpets & Rugs, Tuesday through Friday, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, and Saturdays, from 9:30 am to 2 pm, or call 508-693-2240 to set up an appointment during the evenings, or on Sunday or Monday. On the web, check mvcarpet.com. A one-stop shop for your flooring needs, the company does installations as well.