Furniture, appliances, computers, and TVs "a department store without the clothing," that's how Irwin Danto, manager of Danto Furniture & Appliances, describes his family's business located at the intersection of West Vernor and Central. For four generations the Danto family has been providing the residents of Southwest Detroit with a wide array of home essentials.
Walk into Danto Furniture & Appliances and you'll be impressed by the amount of assorted products offered on the showroom floor from ornate lamps to reclining sofa chairs, mattresses to TVs it's a one stop shop. Danto's attracts most of their business by word of mouth with over 105,000 customers. However, its not simply the products sold at Danto's that has contributed to their long term success.
The store operates with the warmth and personal attention as we are a family business. Danto's has adapted to the needs of a growing immigrant community in the area. Southwest Detroit is home to a growing number of Middle Easterners and a significant Latino community. Often people relocating from other parts of the world find it difficult to establish credit and face language barriers.
Danto's provides key services to help people overcome these barriers such as in house credit and bilingual customer service. The store offers credit to people that do not meet traditional requirements. In addition, Danto's employs 25 people, several of whom are local residents that speak Spanish or Arabic and communicate casually with customers. Rita Cazares, Payment Center Manager, says these services foster loyal customers. She knows people who have furnished their whole house from Danto's and others who return even if they have moved out of the area because they feel comfortable shopping at Danto's.
In 1920 Julius Danto, along with his three brothers, immigrated to the U.S. from a small town along the RussiaPoland border. The businessminded brothers moved to the country's growth area, Detroit, Michigan. Collectively the Danto brothers tried their hand at various businesses: a hat shop, a clothing store and a drug store. But it was Julius Danto who found his niche and by 1940 had created a reputable furniture store in Southwest Detroit.
Julius's oldest son, Charles Danto, took over as store manager in the mid 1960's. Under Charles the business endured Detroit's challenging economic conditions and stood strong until 1992. That year, a fire burned the store to the ground. However, in the Danto father son tradition, Irwin Danto joined his father, Charles, and together they relocated down the street, in the old Central Outfitting building, the store's current location.
Irwin Danto now heads the store's daily operations and is involved in the local community. He has worked with the West Vernor Voluntary Business Improvement District (BID) and served on the Southwest Detroit Business Association's Board of Directors.
Irwin's daughter, Ashley Danto has joined the business in September 2014, learning about the furniture business and helping rebrand the company.
There's definitely something special about Southwest Detroit. Businesses don't give up nor do the residents. Irwin Danto says, "Southwest Detroit works." He believes the neighborhood is repairing itself through the hard work of its residents and it's not hard to believe that "something special" are the residents themselves.
Danto's Furniture is located at 7701 West Vernor Highway Phone: (313) 841-1200.