Fifth-generation retailer celebrates 100 years

Owners Ben and Paige Streiff are part of the fifth generation of family ownership for…

Owners Ben and Paige Streiff are part of the fifth generation of family ownership for BPEC Enterprises, the company that was started 100 years ago.

VICTORIA, Texas — What started 100 years ago as a family-owned general goods store here is now a fifth-generation furniture retailer backed by some of the biggest names in the industry.

And while the operation has changed names a few times, in many ways, it’s stayed true to its original mission.

“It started, and it always is, all about the guests. People buy from people,” said Paige Streiff, president of BPEC Enterprises, the family-owned company that operates a pair of Ashley HomeStores and 5th and Home. “We make it a point to involve the community in whatever we are doing. We’re able to live in the communities we serve. They know they can trust us, and we’ll be there for them.”

The Stimson family started a general store called Rackley Produce in Kenedy, Texas, in 1922. After selling more furniture than general goods, the business changed its name to Stimson Furniture in 1940. The second and third generations expanded the business and over time grew into several-line furniture locations in South Texas. The fourth generation decided in 2005 to convert the existing Stimson Furniture store in Victoria to an Ashley HomeStore.

Today, the family owns HomeStores in Victoria and Corpus Christi, as well as 5th and Home in Victoria. “Because we’re the fifth generation, it’s called 5th and Home,” Streiff said of the store’s name.

she said over the years the family implemented its share of ideas to bring business. Some were more memorable than others.

“My family members had some unique marketing ideas. In the 1940s, whoever wanted to get married in the furniture store got a free bedroom set of their choosing,” she said. “They had to shut down the street to accommodate everybody. We try to involve the community in everything we’re doing.”

Streiff said, as the family observed changes in the industry, the decision to partner with Ashley was an easy one.

“Recognizing in 2005 that it would be better to partner with a national brand like Ashley HomeStores than keep our local, recognized name, we would be able to serve our guests with the No. 1 name in retail, but we would handle their business personally,” she said.

Adding Ashley also helped the family reach deeper into the community. “Everybody always talks about giving back to the community. With our family, kids have always been a big priority,” she said. “In 2013, we decided to Hope to Dream (Ashley’s nonprofit that provides beds for kids in need). Since then, we’ve been able to give away 600 mattresses. It’s been an ever-going annual project since 2013. We’ve been able to give back in that way. It’s the most fulfilling thing for me.”

Opening 5th and Home created a need for buying group backing, so Streiff said the family opted to partner with Furniture First.

“In 2018 when we opened 5th and Home, it had been several years since we were an independent retailer. It was essential that we find vendor partners to service our area,” she said. “They’ve been helpful in finding us rates on financing and being an advocate for our small business. Without them we wouldn’t be able to get the deals that we get through them.”

The official 100-year celebration will be held on Thursday, March 24, at 4:30 p.m. at the Ashley Homestore in Victoria. Customers can view the family history wall and register to win a 2022 Chevy Trax.