Patio & Hearth Blog

from Patio and Hearth Products Report

Sixty Years and Still Going Strong at Tropitone

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Troptione_LogoIRVINE, CA – Tropitone Furniture Company Inc opened the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) Preview Show by celebrating its 60th Anniversary.

“This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Tropitone Furniture Company,” said Cap Hendrix, president and CEO of Tropitone. “I am honored to be a part of Tropitone for over 15 years. As a Director, I had the opportunity to work with Doug Baker, the third generation of family ownership. Under the leadership of Doug, CEO Mike Echolds and Chairman Charlie Farrell, the dedicated Tropitone team transformed a nice family business into an industry powerhouse.

“Since 2008, I also have had the good fortune of serving as CEO for Tropitone’s current ownership group lead by Pfingsten Partners,” added Hendrix. “We could not have had better financial support and strategic leadership under the extreme economic conditions of the great recession. With the guidance of our Board of Directors, that same incredible Tropitone team navigated the Company through the great recession and entered this growth cycle even stronger. Tropitone is positioned for another 60 years of success.”

Tropitone began in the wake of World War II. In the early 1950s, post war families in the USA were establishing households and becoming mobile. Veterans returning from the War were ready to settle down and start families. Buying a house was made a realistic possibility through VA loans designed to help veterans and support the peacetime economy through homebuilding. The automobile industry was converting factories to once again make affordable cars and trucks for a world of eager motorists.

Troptione_CollectionCities were once again vibrant and enjoyable. Suburban communities were being created with clusters of new homes and apartments that included lawns, gardens, patios and pools. Roads were built to connect the suburbs to the cities. Eventually, 46,000 miles of the US Interstate Highway System would connect an entire continent with convenient and economical travel by car and truck.

The success of the post-war economy was creating the need for faster travel by air. Vacation and leisure time was becoming an expected part of everyday life. Hotels, motels, clubs and vacation resorts were built to take advantage of the explosion in travel and leisure. All of these homes, apartments, hotels, motels, clubs and resorts needed outdoor furniture for the lawn, garden, patio and pool.

In 1954, Burt M. Baker, a retired engineer for Lockheed Aircraft and Grand Rapids Chair Co, moved to Sarasota, Fla, and bought the Sarasota Redwood Furniture Company. Drawing upon his experience, Baker switched from redwood to aluminum for the frames of his outdoor patio furniture. The Tropitone Furniture Company and the Tropitone® brand were born.

The Tropitone Furniture Company was originally established to serve the commercial market for outdoor patio furniture that included hotels, motels, clubs and resorts. Tropitone® brand outdoor patio furniture could soon be found around the lawns, gardens, patios and pools of commercial properties around the country.

People who had enjoyed the outdoors with Tropitone® brand outdoor patio furniture at these commercial properties began asking how they could buy such stylish and durable outdoor furniture for their own homes and apartments. Tropitone decided to fill that demand by offering commercial-performance outdoor patio furniture at retail for residential use.

The Tropitone® brand of outdoor patio furniture changed the performance standards of an entire industry by applying the rigorous product and service requirements of the highly-demanding commercial outdoor patio furniture market to the residential market.

In 1970, Tropitone established operations in Orange County, Calif, to serve the ever-growing demand for outdoor patio furniture in western North America. This western base grew into a full-service manufacturing facility and eventually became Tropitone’s headquarters.

This move gave Tropitone the bicoastal manufacturing advantage it continues to enjoy today. Full service manufacturing and distribution operations in Sarasota, Fla, and Irvine, Calif, provide Tropitone the ability to quickly respond to ever-changing marketplace conditions for outdoor patio furniture by being close to the North American customers.

Beginning in 1978 many outdoor patio furniture companies decided to shutter their North American facilities and outsource manufacturing to China factories. Tropitone steadfastly maintained its North American bi-coastal manufacturing facilities to best meet the long-standing high performance requirements of our distribution partners and customers.

In the wake of the China experience of the past 30 years, North American dealers and customers for outdoor patio furniture are demanding better products, better services and rapid response to changing trends. Tropitone believes manufacturers and marketers of outdoor patio furniture closer to market are better positioned to satisfy these high performance requirements. Tropitone’s bi-coastal presence is perfectly positioned to satisfy the high performance requirements.

Tropitone Furniture Company’s bicoastal presence provides the Tropitone® brand with the unique ability to specialize in two key service requirements for both commercial and residential customers: 1) short order-to-ship cycle time; and 2) customized outdoor patio furniture manufactured and shipped within that cycle time.

This capability allows both commercial and residential customers to get exactly what they want, when they want it.
The Tropitone Furniture Company created the Tropitone® MODA™ brand as a complement to the Tropitone® brand.

Tropitone® MODA™ provides distinctive fashion solutions for both commercial and residential extraordinary spaces. The refined designs and meticulous workmanship of Tropitone® MODA™ brand are ideal for those exceptional spaces that call for more leading edge style. Many of the Tropitone® MODA™ models are just as appropriate for indoors as outdoors. Tropitone® MODA™ is the gracious and elegant style companion to the fun-loving and approachable performance of Tropitone®.

Tropitone created the Tropitone® Valora™ brand for the utility market space to complement total performance market position of the core Tropitone® brand and the leading edge style market position of the Tropitone® MODA™ brand. Tropitone® Valora™ provides attractive products for those commercial and residential outdoor spaces with tight budgets. The products in the portfolio were specifically designed and built to meet basic utility requirements with appealing style.

Today, the Tropitone Furniture Company has broad and deep portfolios of products specifically designed for the commercial and residential outdoor spaces. All are designed with the same standard of performance excellence. And the purchase and ownership experience of those that design and use outdoor spaces is guided by the same standards of excellence. It is this seamless integration of form, function and service that defines Tropitone.

Tropitone is headquartered in Irvine, Calif, and is recognized throughout the casual furniture marketplace for its product design leadership and commitment to total performance products and services. The International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) has named Tropitone Tubular Materials Manufacturer of the Year for four consecutive years. The ICFA also named the Company Manufacturer of the Year.

URComfort® is the first outdoor seating to be endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). Commercial products are sold to multiple customer segments including hospitality & resorts, apartments and condominiums, multi-housing / HOA’s, clubs, restaurants and cruise ships. Residential products are marketed through high-service specialty stores, furniture stores and designers. Products are marketed under the Tropitone®, Basta Sole®, Tropitone® MODA™ and Tropitone® Valora™ trademarks. The Company operates primary manufacturing facilities in Irvine, CA and Sarasota, FL.

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