Fogle Brothers have successful pandemic year

With home floor installation being the Fogle Brothers business, 1712 S. Center St., the expectation would be the number of customers in 2020 would be down from 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Fogle Brothers didn’t miss a beat and appears to be growing even more following the pandemic.

“We’ve been booked. It’s nuts,” co-owner Sam Fogle said. “It’s been backlogged ever since and we were in a hole and we haven’t been able to dig ourselves out yet.”

He said the business did not suffer financial losses during the pandemic year. Rather, Fogle said the business is coming off one of it’s biggest years since he and his brother Luke started it in 2017.

“There’s certain times of the year that are busier than others, but for the most part, it’s been very steady, increasing and I think that’s partly just because of the customer service and the reputation that we have around town,” Fogle said.

The hardest part of navigating the pandemic year was customers holding off on projects due to COVID concerns.

“That was the hardest part, there were a few, not many, but there were a few that just said, ‘Let’s hold off on our project for now,”‘ Fogle said.

While the year wasn’t tremendously difficult for the business in 2020 in terms of financial losses, scheduling was.

“It affected us actually quite a bit.” Fogle said. “First of all, it was hard to schedule jobs because people were worried about it being in their house. Also, we closed the door for 10 weeks because the governor wanted us to, which made it difficult to run business with it.”

Due to this, Fogle said the business had to adapt, but the adaptation was successful.

“With a storefront not being open. We did appointments only,” Folge said. “Otherwise, it was a very busy year. A lot of people stayed home to save their money..”

Fogle said business has been “back to normal” for the last three to six months and is busier than ever before.

Jennifer Johnson, who has worked in interior design and sales for Fogle Brothers since February, said in her nearly 20 years in the industry, she hasn’t seen a time as busy as now.

” I think everyone was just looking at their house over COVID and they were just picking everything apart, wanting to redo everything,” Johnson said. “Between that, the tornado and the derecho, everyone being at home, it’s just exploded our business, which has been great.”

Johnson thinks people probably weren’t spending as much money and were doing more research on home remodeling.

“It’s hard to concentrate on your own home when you’re always at work,” she said. “So I think it’s been really nice that way.”

Before the pandemic, Fogle had a strong belief businesses could succeed in Marshalltown. His feelings on that have not changed.

“There’s still money here,” he said. “There’s still people that want to shop local and you know, there’s business opportunities in every town, I think Marshalltown is a pretty strong community.”

Johnson, who is also from Marshalltown, had similar feelings and said it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of a family-owned business in her home community.

“Especially with everything that’s happened, I think it’s just been a wonderful opportunity for me to be a part of a family owned company and I just really appreciate the opportunity to come here, learn and grow,” Johnson said.

Fogle Brothers does flooring installation for both commercial and residential places.The business is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

While it’s known for its flooring capabilities, Fogle Brothers also has kitchen and bathroom services as well.

Contact Sam Stuve at 641-753-6611 or at sstuve@timesrepublican.com.


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