Morry’s Dinettes started as Morry’s Furniture and Decorating in the Feltonville section of Philadelphia in 1954. It was founded by Morris and Sylvia Kanoff, first generation Americans, as a custom drapery and upholstery shop. They soon outgrew their first location and so moved to a larger store in the Juniata Park section of the city in 1956. Their rapid growth continued, leading them to search for an even larger location in 1959. It was then that they settled into their current location at 8109 Frankford Avenue in the Holmesburg section of the city, just north of Mayfair.
The building they chose was constructed in the 1830’s and served as a general store until sometime after World War One. It was eventually turned into a U.S. Post Office which remained until the early 1950’s. (Many of the employees who worked in the building throughout the years hand-wrote their names and dates on a wall in the basement, the oldest inscription being dated 1885!)
In their new location, Morris and Sylvia started selling Spanish furniture, which was very popular at the time, and even began making some of the furniture themselves. Around this time, they enlisted the help of Sylvia’s sister, Rose, and their young son, Steve. Morris worked upstairs making beautiful handmade sofas and love seats while the two sisters sewed in what is now the office. Steve helped with a variety of tasks, from helping his father make furniture to selling on the sales floor.
During the 1960’s, the Kanoffs were always looking for ways to expand their product offerings. They added carpet, lamps and in-home decorating services, and then, in 1965, they started selling custom kitchen sets. It was an instant success. In 1968, they decided to capitalize on this success by converting their family business into a dinette specialty store. The showroom at 8109 Frankford Ave was expanded twice over the next twenty years to meet the needs of the growing business.
Their son Steve worked weekends and after school with his father from an early age, learning the business along the way. After graduating from high school, he attended Temple University and the Art Institute of Philadelphia before becoming a U.S. Marine. After Steve’s brief time in the Marines, he decided to return to the family business. He worked hard to learn every aspect of the business and, in 1983, he took over the store from his parents after they retired. Steve eventually grew Morry’s into the largest dinette store in the tri-state area. He was so dedicated to his business that he continued to work 7 days a week right up until he lost his long battle with cancer in 2015.
Since 1995, Steve had been assisted by his protégé, Robert Higginson, who started as a delivery man and worked his way up to assistant manager. One of Steve’s last requests was to have Robert continue to run Morry’s after his passing. In November 2015, Robert fulfilled his wishes and took over the business. The building is still owned by Steve’s daughters, Stacy and Shana, and with their help, Robert has been working tirelessly on much-needed improvements to the showroom and product offerings. Many returning customers have voiced their sheer amazement by the changes and upgrades that Robert has already made. It looks like a new store inside! Even though Morry’s has finally been brought into the 21st century, the founding ideals of offering quality products at the lowest prices around still remains. The showroom now has over 100 dining sets and 200 bar stools on display. And all of these products come in different sizes, shapes, heights and colors, so we can help each customer design the furniture that best fits their space.
In addition to making physical upgrades, Robert has brought his sincere dedication to great customer service to the Morry’s business philosophy. He believes in treating each customer as he wants to be treated himself, so each customer can expect the BEST service, along with the quality and super-low prices that Morry’s has always been known for.
Many competitors have come and gone since 1959, but Morry’s is one of the last dinette & bar stool specialty shops around! Stop in and see why FOUR GENERATIONS OF CUSTOMERS keep coming back to us for their dining set and bar stool needs! You’ll be glad you did!