Valley Floor Covering's Joe Curtis got his start in the flooring business when back in the mid 1950's, he took a job as a representative for American Carpet Mills owned by Keller Industries. American Carpet was a Carpet Manufacturer, out of Dalton Georgia, and needed a sales representative in Southern California. Not long after that, Joe switched to installing when he took a job at Raffee's Round House of Carpets on University Avenue. With this job, Joe would develop the experience that would take him to starting his own business. 5 years later, in 1961, Joe started Curtis Carpet Company, installing lite commercial and apartment jobs in all of San Diego County.
In 1971, 15 years after he first started in the flooring business, Joe and wife MaryAnn started Valley Floor Covering, working mostly out of their garage. Valley Floor Covering was experiencing good growth, when in 1975, he and MaryAnn moved into their first retail location in La Mesa, California. They rented a small Quonset hut at 8209 Alvarado Road, and displayed both flooring samples and cash and carry inventory. In those early days, most floor covering was either carpet or hard tiles. From there, Joe and MaryAnn worked hard, and continued Valley's sales towards lite commercial work, but when MaryAnn transitioned from bookkeeping to selling, the retail/residential sales grew quickly.
In 1975, as the business continued to grow, Son Dennis Curtis joined the family business while still in high school. Initially as an installer and helper, Dennis quickly caught on and transitioned into sales and service. During the early years, Joe worked with his older brother Myron Curtis, and his cousin Rex Curtis. They both helped Valley Floor Covering by enabling Joe to sell and install some of the bigger jobs, all over Southern California. In those days, the carpet seams were all hand sewn. Hot melt seam tape had not yet caught on.
It was about this same time that Valley Floor Covering moved to a bigger, more prominent location, on the corner of Bradley and Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon. The business stayed there for 35 years until it relocated to its present location at 9945 Prospect Ave, Santee, Ca. 92071. In 1980, with the showroom sales being handled by MaryAnn, and the warehouse and operations being run by son Dennis Curtis, Joe ventured out to look for more sales and larger jobs. This is when Valley Floor Covering first started doing work for Kaiser Medical. A relationship that continues to this day!
During the years, Valley Floor Covering has done work for SDG&E, Viejas Casino, Lockheed/Martin, Barona Indian Reservation and the San Diego Housing Commission, among many others. One of the biggest jobs ever landed was a Las Vegas Hotel in the early 80's. During the years, Valley Floor Covering has been a Union Shop, and an active member of the Tile Contractors Association, The BIA, and the SDCFCA. In the early years, Joe would drive to Los Angeles to see new products and techniques at the Southern California Flooring Market, that would later become Surfaces!
Over the years, Joe has fond memories of the SDCFCA annual golf tournaments, when he would always get to see industry friends and competitors. One of Joe's favorite salespeople to call on Valley Floor Covering was Jim Walsh/Atlas Carpet Mills! Some other life long industry memories that Joe has were buying from Chuck Cate/LD Brinkman, Frieda Langford/ETC-Sunweavers, and Virl Kemp/Carpet Layers Supply Co. Joe remembers when the only cushions available for residential installations were light weight polyurethane foam and jute fiber pad.
In 2000, Dennis Curtis became the President of Valley Floor Covering. Joe still is very active, but is now allowed to enjoy the fruits of his labor, by relaxing a little more. Dennis feels very lucky to have had the example of hard work and a strong work ethic shown by both his mom and dad throughout his life! It's a big part of Valley Floor Covering today. The Company Mission Statement says "Teamwork, family values and quality employees, drive our commitment to each customer!" Joe also agrees that the company's success has always been tied to integrity, honesty, and quality. It's probably a big reason why Valley Floor Covering is still going strong some 44 years later!!!
You can find more information about Valley Floor Covering at their website: www.valleyfloorcovering.com
, and you can see more stories of the history of our members at the San Diego County Floor Covering Associations website at: www.sdcfca.com