Customers retrieve furniture from company accused of scam

Customers who waited months, some more than a year, to get their items from a…

Customers who waited months, some more than a year, to get their items from a bankrupt furniture restoration company, finally have some hope. Cream City Restoration had a Third Ward storefront that’s now empty. The landlord of their extra warehouse said the owners owe him $40,000 and is evicting them from that property too. As a result of the bankruptcy and eviction, attorneys are setting up times for customers to pick up their items from the warehouse this week and next week. Thursday was the first day. “They were supposed to restore all of the wood, reupholster it, new cushions, the whole nine yards and refinish the tables. None of that happened, of course,” said a man named Coleman, who picked up a sofa, a chair and two tables he said he bought from the company in February. “We bought it and immediately started having trouble communicating with owner, which raised a lot of alarm bells,” Coleman said. “They were deliberately not responding.””Are you at least relieved to have these pieces,” asked WISN 12’s Caroline Reinwald. “Oh, huge. I thought when we came here, the pieces would still be here and they are, remarkably,” Coleman said. Patricia Merrifield picked up eight chairs on Thursday. She said she paid Cream City Restoration $3,700 to re-weave the seats last October, but never got her chairs back.”I said I’m getting frustrated, you’re soliciting more people from Instagram and you haven’t even done anything with my furniture,” Merrifield said. “The next thing I knew was that they’d gone bankrupt. I felt terrible and felt I should have done more research.”On Thursday, Merrifield picked up the chairs. They were in the same condition as she left them. “I’m relieved. It feels really good, no harm was done. Nothing’s been done to them at all. They’ve just sat here for months,” Merrifield said. In March, WISN 12 interviewed dozens of customers who said Cream City Restoration scammed them and ignored messages for months, some over a year. “They said six to eight weeks,” said Kasey Leaf, who’s still waiting for two chairs she paid $2,500 for in November. “I feel like they’re playing a shell game and are deliberately scamming people.””We gave them my husband’s grandfather’s heirloom chair, a very specific chair from the ’50s,” said Angela Heron, who paid the business $1,300 and waited 10 months.She said barely any work was done when the chair was delivered.”On the face of it, they seem like the perfect small business,” Heron said. “They had a beautiful storefront, they really took the time to talk to you as you visited the stores. I wish I would have done more research.”The owners of the company, Jason and Kelsey McGinnis, spoke exclusively to WISN 12 in March. They said the pandemic caused a snowball effect they could not recover from. “With COVID over the last two years, we’ve lost key employees. So that really hurt our business, because we couldn’t get projects out as fast,” Kelsey McGinnis said. “We never did this intentionally, we’re sorry. We’re doing everything we can to make amends with everybody,” Jason McGinnis said. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said it’s received a number of complaints against Cream City Restoration and is actively working with the company to seek a resolution. A DATCP spokesperson said anyone affected can go to DATCP’s website for resources or to file a complaint. The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office confirmed to WISN 12 they were working with DATCP and said they would await the state’s findings before moving forward with a possible criminal investigation. On Thursday, WISN 12 saw six of the seven groups of customers leave with their furniture items, though all of the pieces were untouched. One couple, more sympathetic to the company’s situation, ultimately left empty-handed. “These are guys are in bankruptcy and financial difficulties and all kinds of problems, so you got to be a little bit understanding,” said Bruce Wampold, who was looking for a small bench and four chairs. “We bought from them before and were really pleased with the quality of their work.””I don’t understand the meanness, said Anna Gemrich, who was with Wampold and referring to the comments on social media about Cream City Restoration. “I understand people are upset, they want their things, they didn’t get them refinished, they want their money. I totally understand that. I just, the animosity towards the owner is a little baffling to me.” Wampold and Gemrich said their items weren’t in the warehouse and said McGinnis told them the furniture may be elsewhere. In addition to Thursday, customers can set up times to pick up their items in the warehouse on Friday, or next week Wednesday or Thursday. Customers must either have proof of ownership or a contract with Cream City Restoration in order to pick up the items. Attorneys told customers there will be no other time slots available and if there is furniture left after these time slots, the furniture will be permanently removed with no future access. If you are a customer wishing to pick up an item, contact bankruptcy attorney Richard Check at [email protected] or attorney Savannah Mueller at 414-223-0000.

Customers who waited months, some more than a year, to get their items from a bankrupt furniture restoration company, finally have some hope.

Cream City Restoration had a Third Ward storefront that’s now empty.

The landlord of their extra warehouse said the owners owe him $40,000 and is evicting them from that property too.

As a result of the bankruptcy and eviction, attorneys are setting up times for customers to pick up their items from the warehouse this week and next week.

Thursday was the first day.

“They were supposed to restore all of the wood, reupholster it, new cushions, the whole nine yards and refinish the tables. None of that happened, of course,” said a man named Coleman, who picked up a sofa, a chair and two tables he said he bought from the company in February.

“We bought it and immediately started having trouble communicating with owner, which raised a lot of alarm bells,” Coleman said. “They were deliberately not responding.”

“Are you at least relieved to have these pieces,” asked WISN 12’s Caroline Reinwald.

“Oh, huge. I thought when we came here, the pieces would still be here and they are, remarkably,” Coleman said.

Patricia Merrifield picked up eight chairs on Thursday.

She said she paid Cream City Restoration $3,700 to re-weave the seats last October, but never got her chairs back.

“I said I’m getting frustrated, you’re soliciting more people from Instagram and you haven’t even done anything with my furniture,” Merrifield said. “The next thing I knew was that they’d gone bankrupt. I felt terrible and felt I should have done more research.”

On Thursday, Merrifield picked up the chairs. They were in the same condition as she left them.

“I’m relieved. It feels really good, no harm was done. Nothing’s been done to them at all. They’ve just sat here for months,” Merrifield said.

In March, WISN 12 interviewed dozens of customers who said Cream City Restoration scammed them and ignored messages for months, some over a year.

“They said six to eight weeks,” said Kasey Leaf, who’s still waiting for two chairs she paid $2,500 for in November. “I feel like they’re playing a shell game and are deliberately scamming people.”

“We gave them my husband’s grandfather’s heirloom chair, a very specific chair from the ’50s,” said Angela Heron, who paid the business $1,300 and waited 10 months.

She said barely any work was done when the chair was delivered.

“On the face of it, they seem like the perfect small business,” Heron said. “They had a beautiful storefront, they really took the time to talk to you as you visited the stores. I wish I would have done more research.”

The owners of the company, Jason and Kelsey McGinnis, spoke exclusively to WISN 12 in March.

They said the pandemic caused a snowball effect they could not recover from.

“With COVID over the last two years, we’ve lost key employees. So that really hurt our business, because we couldn’t get projects out as fast,” Kelsey McGinnis said.

“We never did this intentionally, we’re sorry. We’re doing everything we can to make amends with everybody,” Jason McGinnis said.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said it’s received a number of complaints against Cream City Restoration and is actively working with the company to seek a resolution.

A DATCP spokesperson said anyone affected can go to DATCP’s website for resources or to file a complaint.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office confirmed to WISN 12 they were working with DATCP and said they would await the state’s findings before moving forward with a possible criminal investigation.

On Thursday, WISN 12 saw six of the seven groups of customers leave with their furniture items, though all of the pieces were untouched.

One couple, more sympathetic to the company’s situation, ultimately left empty-handed.

“These are guys are in bankruptcy and financial difficulties and all kinds of problems, so you got to be a little bit understanding,” said Bruce Wampold, who was looking for a small bench and four chairs. “We bought from them before and were really pleased with the quality of their work.”

“I don’t understand the meanness, said Anna Gemrich, who was with Wampold and referring to the comments on social media about Cream City Restoration. “I understand people are upset, they want their things, they didn’t get them refinished, they want their money. I totally understand that. I just, the animosity towards the owner is a little baffling to me.”

Wampold and Gemrich said their items weren’t in the warehouse and said McGinnis told them the furniture may be elsewhere.

In addition to Thursday, customers can set up times to pick up their items in the warehouse on Friday, or next week Wednesday or Thursday.

Customers must either have proof of ownership or a contract with Cream City Restoration in order to pick up the items.

Attorneys told customers there will be no other time slots available and if there is furniture left after these time slots, the furniture will be permanently removed with no future access.

If you are a customer wishing to pick up an item, contact bankruptcy attorney Richard Check at [email protected] or attorney Savannah Mueller at 414-223-0000.