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Floors and More—and more

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Business has new owners

By John Barnhart

Floors and More, located on West Main Street in Bedford, got new owners at the beginning of May.

    Bob and Jann Sloper came here from Medina, N.Y., a town near Niagara Falls. They first saw the Bedford area five years ago when they were on vacation and decided to check out the Peaks of Otter.
    “My wife said, ‘This is where I want to live,’” Bob commented.
    They began to make plans to move and came down the day after this past Christmas. Then, the opportunity to acquire Floors and More opened up. Floors and More fit in with Bob’s background. He operated a home improvement business up north for 11 years.
    Bob Sloper uses two installers for the flooring products he sells here. He said that he personally goes to each job site and inspects the work before the installer leaves. His past business background means that he knows what he’s looking at.
    Floors and More carries a variety of floor coverings — carpet and tile — by a number of manufacturers including Armstrong, Mohawk and American Olean. If you want something that you don’t see in the store, Sloper said that he can take care of that.
    “We have the means of getting anything we want,” he said.
    Floors and More, under new ownership, constitutes a new business, according to Sloper. And, it’s off to a good start. Sloper said that he’s pleased with the community response.
    He’s also a very strong proponent of supporting other local small businesses. As examples, he said that when he renovated the interior of the business, he ordered his paint from Bedford Hardware and had his vehicles serviced by Jim’s Auto Service.
    Floors and More is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Customers can also schedule an appointment after 5 p.m. or on a Saturday by calling (540) 586-3246.
    There’s more.
    When Sloper purchased the business, he took over the entire building, including Shooters Billiards and Arcade. He’s renovating Shooters to make it more community friendly.
    This means that there won’t be any alcohol and smoking and profanity will be prohibited. There will also always be an adult attendant on site whenever the doors are open.
    This business will include pool tables, an arcade, Wii games, Xbox Live and electronic dart boards. Soft drinks and light food will be available and pool will be 50 cents per game, the goal being to make it affordable.
    “We’ve heard there is no place for kids to go, nothing for them to do,” he said, explaining why he is doing this.
    Sloper, who claims to be pretty good at pool, plans to give lessons two evenings each week.
    He said that pricing for games and such is set at a break-even point. The flooring store is his living and this will be a community service.
    Getting this community service ready has been a major job, and a $50,000 investment.
    “The first thing we had to do was strip everything out of here,” he said, noting that Shooters was in terrible shape when he got it.
    He promises that the place will be decorated nicely. Sloper expects to have it ready by the end of this month and wants families to come in and check it out. He would also love to have police officers stop in for soft drinks from time to time.
    Along with actively helping her husband run the business, Jann Sloper has gotten involved with the community. She visits elderly folks at the Elks Home and volunteers at the Shepherd’s Table.
    The Slopers are members of Mount Hermon Baptist Church.
    “They have accepted us as though we had lived here for 100 years,” Bob said.