Make us your home page
Everybody's Business

Merger bolsters G Fried Flooring America

As part of Flooring America's "Shining Stars" group of top tier performers, Rufus Ashby and Jim Garner frequently spent time together in meetings even though Ashby owned Flooring America in the Tampa/Sarasota area and Garner is the chief executive officer of Sergenian's Floor Coverings in Madison, Wis.

Talking business four to five times a year led to talking about a merger, and now the flooring company at 9329 E Adamo Drive is bolstered by a partnership with Sergenian's that Ashby says will lead to greater service for customers searching for carpet, hardwoods, tiles and laminates.

Combined, the two companies expect to have annual sales of more than $27-million. Ashby says that will make them one of the top 50 independent flooring retailers in the nation.

"This will make sure we're around for a long time," Ashby said this week. "It's been tough for my industry the last three years, and really tough for everybody, but together, we're going to be a very strong company."

With the merger comes a name change for the stores Ashby owned in Tampa and Sarasota: G Fried Flooring America. Ashby purchased the G Fried stores in Sarasota several years ago and combining brands will streamline marketing and operational efforts. Ashby, who remains president of the Florida region, also will continue to operate a commercial flooring facility in Jupiter.

The brand change already appears to be more than cosmetic. The showroom on Adamo recently underwent a major remodeling and now features more selections and a cleaner appeal.

"We're focusing on value and service," Ashby said. "We're trying to do things that other companies don't do.

"For example, all our residential jobs are precut. We won't be rolling carpet out in your driveway. And we offer lifetime installation warranties on all carpeting."

Equally important to Ashby is supporting the community, and he says the merger will strengthen his ability to serve. He currently sits on the board of Brandon Regional Hospital and the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce. He also actively serves in Rotary.

Fiat zooms in: The Brandon Auto Mall, 11024 Causeway Blvd., now features a fleet of new Fiats for sale. The additional inventory will lead up to the spring opening of a brand new Ed Morse Fiat Studio showroom. It will be the only dealership in Hillsborough County to offer the brand.

Current Fiat models available include the Pop, Sport and Lounge. They range from $15,500 to $25,000.

MidFlorida coming to central Brandon: MidFlorida Credit Union will completely remodel a former restaurant spot at 825 W Brandon Blvd. to expand its branch network.

The office will offer extended drive-through service (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays), Saturday hours, mortgage and business lending, as well as personal lending. The credit union plans a soft opening in June, with the branch being fully operational by July.

The location is a former Village Inn and most recently operated as a Brandon Buffet.

Headquartered in Lakeland, MidFlorida serves more than 150,000 members with assets of more than $1.6 billion.

If you know something that should be Everybody's Business, contact Ernest Hooper at or (813) 661-2440.

Merger bolsters G Fried Flooring America 02/02/12 [Last modified: Monday, February 6, 2012 8:37am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood


    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa


    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.