At The Columbusite, we are proud to share stories about people working hard to make a difference in our community.
The Evans Family are those kind of people.
Although most everyone in our community is familiar with Columbus' La-Z-Boy store, most locals do not know that is independently owned and operated by the Evans Family. What's more? As the owners of the store for over 16 years, the family has continually contributed funds and materials to completely furnish our local Ronald McDonald House.
Bill Evans, the patriarch of the family, opened the store over 16 years ago and co-owns the store with his wife Cindy. His son and daughter-in-law, Bryan and Susan, are also part owners and have played a major role in a floor-to-ceiling remodel of the store's showroom this year.
New signage being hung during La-Z-Boy's remodel this summer. Photo courtesy of La-Z-Boy Columbus.
Now, after recently completing the remodel of their beloved business, the Evans Family is set to re-open their award-winning new store design.
So, how are they celebrating the occasion?
The only way they know how. By giving back.
La-Z-Boy of Columbus will host their Grand Reopening event tomorrow night at 6 p.m. The event will feature a presentation of funds to the Ronald McDonald House. These funds were collected from the store's latest fundraiser which enabled customers to choose to donate to the charity in lieu of a local delivery charge.
We corresponded with the Evans Family to discuss how they got into the furniture business in the first place, why they love being small business owners in our community, and the reason that the Ronald McDonald House captured their hearts so many years ago.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
In true family fashion, each member of the family wanted to be involved in sharing their story together, so look for our annotations to let you know who's speaking and when.
Bryan and Susan Evans at La-Z-Boy's World Headquarters in March 2018. Photo courtesy of La-Z-Boy Columbus.
Q: What made you decide to open a La-Z-Boy in Columbus in the first place?
A: (Bill) The opportunity to open a La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery in Columbus came open and I decided to pursue it. Since Columbus Park Crossing was being developed about the same time I decided that it was a good fit and was able to obtain the great location and be the first retailer to open. La-Z-Boy has a great reputation for quality and comfort.
Q: Please describe your favorite things about being a small business owner in Columbus.
A: (Bill) Being associated with the most recognized furniture brand in America has given me the opportunity to work with great people in Columbus, Georgia. After working in corporate America with Fieldcrest Mills and Columbus Carpet Mills, I have found working with my family in a small business in our community to be very enjoyable. Q: What can people expect to see from this new renovation and their experience in your new store?
A: (Susan) We really think Columbus will love the fresh, new look and pressure-free experience we offer.
Q: How is La-Z-Boy connected with the Ronald McDonald House? How did this connection develop, and what does the relationship provide to the charity?
A: (Susan) Ronald McDonald House is the signature charity for La-Z-Boy company-wide. Our store is the official furniture provider for our local RMHC. We donate 4 pieces of furniture to our local house each year.
Once a year we offer free delivery to our customers if they donate to RMHC. These donations will help cover operating costs for our local house. The house also has a wish list of everyday items they need and we shop for them several times a year. Bryan also serves on the board for our local RMHC.
Q: How do you believe that purchasing locally (at La-Z-Boy and other small businesses) directly impact our city for good?
A: (Bryan) Dollars spent locally really do stay local! When customers purchase from us or other locally owned businesses, they are helping real people pay day care bills, buy groceries, invest in homes and so much more. We have 20 employees here and that means 20 different families are impacted by each customer's decision to buy from us!
Dollars spent locally really do stay local! When customers purchase from us or other locally owned businesses, they are helping real people pay day care bills, buy groceries, invest in homes and so much more. - Bryan Evans
Q: Why do you love your customers? How have they impacted your family over the years?
A: (Susan) Our customers are the reason we exist! We see many of the same families coming back over the years and they truly become like family to us. Referrals from our customers are the best compliment we ever receive.
Q: For Wednesday's event, why did you choose for the Ronald McDonald House to be awarded this money? Can you share the amount? What is the specific cause for the check being donated? How will the funds be used?
A: (Susan) While there are many other great causes we support, our Ronald McDonald house is always our first priority for any dollars or goods we donate. It's hard to comprehend the trauma a family faces when their child is hospitalized. We take great pride in providing comfort to these families when they need it most. We are honored to be associated with such a wonderful organization! On Wednesday, we will present a check for $1000. These funds will help buy supplies for the house. ◼︎
If You Go:
What: La-Z-Boy Columbus' Grand Reopening
When: Wednesday, August 22, 6 p.m.
Where: 5555 Whittlesey Blvd, Building 1, Columbus Park Crossing
About our Local Ronald McDonald House:
"Ronald McDonald House Charities® of West Georgia has been providing a home away from home for families of seriously ill or injured children since 1987.
We now also provide a Ronald McDonald Family Room to families at Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital for use by families that have a pediatric patient being treated within the hospital.
The Ronald McDonald House gives: children a place to play after a long day at the hospital; parents a home for a good night’s sleep and a warm meal near the hospital; and families relief from the financial and emotional burdens of traveling for their child’s medical care.
The Ronald McDonald Family Room gives:
Families with a pediatric patient being treated within Piedmont Columbus Regional a place to relax, regroup, and recharge without ever leaving the hospital."
More on La-Z-Boy:
Headquartered in Monroe, Mich., La-Z-Boy has been producing some of the world’s most comfortable furniture for over 90 years. The company manufactures a full line of comfortable products for the living room and family room, including the company’s world-famous recliners, reclining sofas and love seats, sleep sofas, modular furniture and leather upholstery, as well as stationary sofas, love seats and chairs. It is a division of La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE: LZB), one of the world’s leading residential furniture producers, marketing furniture for every room of the home. “Live life comfortably® .”