KINGSTON – On the back of Voitek TV & Appliances, there is an old newspaper advertisement cut out and framed on the wall, with the caption “Welcome to the family”.
For Ed Voitek, son of the late David Voitek Sr. who founded the home appliance chain over 60 years ago, business and family have been intertwined his entire life.
“It’s really the only job I’ve ever had in my life,” said Voitek, who runs the business with siblings Nancy Peters and Dave Voitek Jr. “We were born into this business. We grew up there.
Voitek TV & Appliances was recently recognized as Times Leader Best of the Best Award at platinum level, continuing the company’s long and dynastic string of awards for its service to the region.
“It’s a nice feeling, I’m happy that our customers are satisfied enough to continue to choose us,” Voitek said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
What started as a small TV repair business by brothers Dave and Mark Voitek in 1958 after years of working in the coal mines has blossomed over decades to become the # 1 home appliance market. Wyoming valley.
The brothers moved from the basement of a family home to a storefront on Wyoming Avenue in Kingston, a place that still remains open and bustling all these years later.
Additionally, the business expanded to another Wyoming Avenue location about 20 years ago, this time down the road near Exeter, a welcome addition to the Voitek business.
“My dad said buying this seat was one of the best decisions we could have made,” said Ed Voitek. “We have a full acre of warehouse space for additional inventory.”
The extra space is good because, as the name suggests, the company has gone from being a TV-only store pretty quickly to having just about every device it would need for his home.
Whether cooking, laundry, or a Memorial Day weekend barbecue, Voitek is the place to go.
At the Kingston chain store, a portrait of David Sr. hangs above the store entrance, a loving tribute to the man who not only made Voitek the success it is today, but also introduced his children to the business and raised them in the business.
“We were bred to do this,” said Ed Voitek. “I started in the warehouse, got into construction and repair, and eventually got to the sales shop.”
As a result of this life in the company, Ed and his brother, David Jr., and his sister Nancy were more than ready and able to take over from their father when the time came.
David Sr. passed away in 2019 at the age of 88, leaving behind a legendary legacy in the business and in the Wyoming Valley.
But the business hasn’t stopped thriving for the Voitek family, even with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging many small businesses in the region and the country.
“It was slow at first, but then it was like someone flipped a light switch,” Voitek said. “Then we were booming.
That’s not to say the pandemic hasn’t wreaked havoc on Voitek TV & Appliances, however; One of the lingering effects, according to Ed, has been the difficulty the company has had in finding spare time to connect with customers to deliver and install devices.
“The uptime has been horrible, trying to put in the good times,” he said. “It’s a problem we’ve had for some time.”
But the Voiteks were able to navigate with the help of their employees, most of whom have been with the company for a long time.
Proof of this: Salesman Tom Santucci, working on the floor when a Times Leader reporter passed by.
“I’ve been here for 44 years,” Santucci said. “I loved every minute of it.”
Voitek explained that the store has been fortunate to experience low staff turnover over the years.
Maybe those familiar faces are what keep Voitek loyal customers coming back, maybe they’re some great deals on great home appliances.
Either way, they can’t stay away from Voitek TV & Appliances, and the collection of rewards hanging on the wall hammer that points to the house.
“I love our clients, we love them all and we can’t thank them enough for their years with us,” Voitek said.
“We couldn’t be here without them.”