Here you will find a little bit of insight about us and our company. How did you get started in the pool table business?
In 1980 at the age of 15, I started working for a company behind my home in St. Petersburg, Florida called George's Pool Tables. I was hired as an assistant to the owner. My job for the first year was to assist him in, moving, and setting up pool tables. When we were not busy, I cleaned up around the shop not a bad job for a 15-year-old kid. During my second year, George started teaching me how to set up and refelt pool tables and by the end of the year, I was re-felting pool tables on my own. For the next couple of years, I worked side by side with him, learning and mastering every aspect of the billiard business; it was also at this time that I met my wonderful wife Cheri. Fast forward 5 years later in 1985, on the encouragement of the owners of Craftmaster Pool Tables in Clearwater, Florida, my wife Cheri and I opened our own business. The owners of Craftmaster suggested we call our company "Joe's Pool Table Repair". It did not really have much of a ring to it, but the name made its point.
Over the years, I worked with and still do with some of the big-name retailers in the billiard industry, such as Robertson Billiard Supply in Tampa, FL, Florida Billiards in Orlando FL, and Aurora Road Billiards in Melbourne FL. Our company has also contracted out to major moving companies, such as Allied Van Lines, United Van Lines, Atlas, and North American Van Lines. Throughout the years, due to wanting a change of scenery, we have moved our business. We have lived the country lifestyle while residing in a quaint little town called Brooksville, FL. to living the big city life living in Orlando, FL. to now our permanent home on the beautiful Space Coast! However, despite the multiple moves across this gorgeous state, we still have kept up our customer base. Our quality of service and our attention to detail keeps our customers coming back no matter how far we may be. What role do your wife and son play within the business?
I always have said that Cheri is the "brains" behind our business. She oversees all the book work which includes booking jobs, acquiring any inventory that we may need, and keeping our website and social media sites up to date. She is also in charge of keeping our accounts receivables and our accounts payable current. If you call anytime in the morning, most of the time, you will talk to Cheri, where you will find that she can usually answer any questions that you may have for us. On top of all that, she is a loving and caring Florida State Certified Paramedic, a motor-coach driver for Walt Disney World and she also volunteers in her spare time at a local horse rescue! To say she stays busy would be an understatement. She truly is my other half and is a vital part of keeping our business running; I sure could not do it without her! Our son Joe, well he has been in the business ever since he could hold a wrench in his hands. As early, as age 7 he was turning a wrench helping his Dad assemble pool tables! He is very instrumental as a partner in keeping the business going and within the next few years, the reins will be turned over to him!
What do you like most about your job?
Getting to meet new people and providing them with exceptional customer service and most all giving them the chance to create family memories with their pool table!
Why does your work stand out from your competitors?Well, I will not say anything negative about our competitors, but I know our work speaks for itself. We take pride in the service that we provide. I often say that “we provide quality work with a personal touch”! What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
How physically demanding it is. It's not as simple as picking a pool table up and moving it. Sometimes we are requested to move pool tables upstairs and with each slate weighing more than 150 lbs. this can be physically challenging. Another thing is the Florida summer heat can be brutal, moving a pool table with a heat index of 103 degrees can take a lot out of you...
Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
Moving pool tables, Re-felting pool tables, Setting up pool tables. Restoring pool tables.
What questions do your customers most commonly ask you?
"Do you really have to completely disassemble a table to move it"? If it is a home table, the answer is YES. The common misconception is that pool tables can be moved in one piece. Unfortunately, when people try to do that, they not only damage the table but end up damaging themselves.
What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years that will change your line of business?The newest craze is the logo pool table felt. You can now have your pool table re-felted with your favorite football team's logo in the middle, a photo of your pet, or whatever you can imagine. It is a great concept but is expensive and we actually like to advise our customers against it. The reason is the cloth is made out of polyester, not the woolen blend of an actual pool table cloth. You will have no playability using logo cloth. We suggest if you want the logo of your favorite sports team on your table, invest in a pool table cover with the logo on it. This way you can have a great playing pool table without ruining it.
What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out? Call us and talk to us personally; we can answer any questions that they might have. Buying a pool table is like buying a car. Know what you are looking for, know what you are willing to spend and most of all make sure you have the space for it.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?Look for years of experience, look for guarantees, look for references, look for professionalism. Speak to the owners of the company; "Do they make you feel welcomed"? In our business, we add a personal touch and do not make our customers feel like just a number. You invest a lot of money into buying a pool table, so you should receive top-notch service when having it set up or moved.