Roanoke family keeps local furniture store thriving through generations

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ROANOKE, Ill. — In the small town of Roanoke, the Sauder family name is no stranger to the community.

The Sauder’s have made their homegrown mark in the local furniture industry helping style and furnish Central Illinois homes. They have made their homegrown mark in the local furniture industry, helping style and furnish Central Illinois homes.

“We kind of grew up with the business,” Jeff Sauder of Sauder Furniture said.

“There’s a lot of pride in that,” Skip Sauder said. “But there’s a lot of humility that comes with it as well too.”

While the family name may be familiar, the long-standing history of Sauder Furniture may come as a surprise to some.

“112 years. Same location. Same business. Same family,” Jeff said.

Brothers Jeff and Skip own the Roanoke business, and they credit their great-grandfather John for officially starting the family’s legacy of entrepreneurship back in 1907.

“We’re in the original building that they started in back in—like I said—the late 1800’s,” Skip said.

From a dry goods store with bakery products to a funeral home with casket options, Sauder’s Furniture has seen its fair share of changes over the century. But what has remained consistent is the emphasis on family legacy.

“It’s a really humbling experience to walk through the same door as four generations before you,” Wade Sauder said. “That’s an opportunity that not many people get.”

Wade, Jeff’s son and Skip’s nephew, is preparing to take over the business. He says the relationship between the family store and the surrounding area has been reciprocal from the beginning.

“It’s cool to be in this small community and to be one of the oldest businesses and be one of the reasons that pulls people into town,” Wade said. “We support the community and the community supports us.”

And they hope that support continues for years to come.

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