photo of owners (l-r) Dean Martin and Jerry Martin
Decorating your home can be intimidating, particularly when choosing something like flooring which will be with you for a long time. That’s where the interior designers at West River Carpet Inc. can help you make decisions. For instance, trends can be fun, but when it comes to decorating, trends can be “dangerous,” says Dean Martin, who with his brother Jerry Martin owns the carpet and flooring store at 4627 West River Drive in Comstock Park. “Trends…date your home,” said Dean Martin, designer at the family-owned store, who suggests doing trends “with easily changeable things like accessories.” Also ask yourself “what do you love?” he said, adding that when it comes to your home, “Your interior should reflect your personality.”
The story of West River Carpet began in 1978 when Dean and Jerry Martin’s father Patrick Martin founded Road & Rail Trucking located on Mill Creek Drive in downtown Comstock Park. The trucking company shipped carpet from the family’s warehouse in Dalton, Georgia to stores in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. Dean Martin managed the warehouse after graduating from high school in 1979. He and his father opened Wheel & Deal Carpets on West River Drive across the street from their present location in 1984. They built the current store in 1986, changing the business name to West River Carpets Inc. Jerry Martin joined the business full-time in 1994.
The 4800 square foot building has a 768 square foot showroom for special orders, and the rest is warehouse with a large selection of remnants for smaller rooms and in-stock rolls of carpet for larger areas. Dean Martin said being near the expressway “is a good location for our retail…easy on and off for our customers.”
Jerry Martin handles sales and warehouse management while Dean Martin is in the design end of the business. There are two full-time and three part-time employees, all of whom are family members. They use sub-contractors to do installation. Advertising is primarily through social media such as Facebook and their web site, as well as local television and newspaper.
The full service store provides everything from design ideas to tear out and removal of the old and installation of the new for residential and commercial buildings. There is a wide array of flooring including carpet, laminate, vinyl, ceramic tile, and eco-friendly flooring such as cork and bamboo. Their interior design consultants will help you create your perfect interior assisting with not only flooring but ideas for paint color and fabric for drapes as well.
The company gives back to the community, supporting local Little League teams and Relay for Life. Dean Martin has designed Christmas trees for the Comstock Park Education Foundation annual fundraiser, and for the Special Olympics Festival of Trees.
Today, most of the country’s carpet mills are located within a 65-mile radius of Dalton, Georgia and produce about 85 percent of the carpet sold in the United States. The town is dubbed the “Carpet Capital of the World.”
Dean and Jerry Martin grew up in Rockford, and both graduated from Rockford High School. Dean Martin, who lives in Grand Rapids, attended Kendall College School of Design, majoring in interior design. When he’s not busy working, he enjoys gardening, biking, traveling, and the arts.
Jerry Martin studied business at what was then Grand Rapids Junior College and at Albion College, and served in the Army. He and his wife Deb live in Belmont. They have three grown children and five grandchildren that keep them busy. He likes to attend his grandchildren’s events and local sporting events in his free time.