On March 1, 1953, Joe and Gloria Pedigo made a life changing decision to sell their bus stop restaurant and open a home appliance and furniture company in a 3,300 square foot space in downtown Livingston. With only one employee in addition to themselves, they managed to expand the business in both revenue and selling space, and in 1965, they dubbed the business Pedigo Furniture Company. In 1968, Joe and Gloria’s daughter, Cherie, and her husband, Clarke Evans, joined the team and added a new burst of energy to the enterprise.
One year later, an additional lot next to the current operation was purchased and named "Pedigo Junction," as it was utilized as a used furniture and appliance outlet. This area, known by the employees as “the corner store”, was later converted into showroom space for new furniture, further expanding the floor space of Pedigo Furniture. In 1971, Joe and Gloria’s son, Joey, joined the team and brought additional expertise and liveliness to the group. By this time, the business was well on its way to occupying the entire downtown block on the south side of the Polk County Courthouse, and in 1978, the family made the decision to incorporate under the name “Pedigo Furniture, Inc.”
During this time, Gloria stepped into retirement so she could become a full time grandmother to her growing clan of grandchildren, but Joe continued in operations. Although he served as the Mayor of Livingston from 1968 to 1985, he was still actively involved in the daily operations of the business. Nonetheless, in 1984, he made the decision to “officially” retire. To the delight of the current employees, however, he still considers himself a “meddler” as he visits the store almost daily between his rounds of golf and duties as a Deacon of Central Baptist Church.
After devoting 18 years of hard work and faithful leadership to the furniture store, Clarke decided to leave and pursue his own form of entrepreneurship in the real estate business. At this point, the management and daily operations of the business were carried out by Cherie and Joey, and they persisted to do everything necessary to meet the challenges of a growing market. In 1998, Joey’s son, Jason, returned to Livingston after earning a Marketing Degree at Baylor University and stepped in to the family business by contributing his talents to the sales floor.
Business continued to flourish, and in the year 2000, Joey and Cherie decided to take a leap of faith and purchased five acres west of downtown as a future site of operations. At that time, the downtown location was sold to the County, and three years later, the doors were opened at the current site of the business. Fortunately, the loyal customer base followed the family west to the expanded location that consisted of approximately 31,000 square feet of warehouse and showroom space.
In 2005, Cherie’s daughter, Casey, brought her undergraduate and graduate Accounting Degrees from Texas A&M University along with her CPA license and jumped into the family business. One year later, the decision was made to add almost 20,000 additional square feet of warehouse space to the existing site, therefore consolidating all operations at one site. In the midst of the excitement of expanding sales and operations, 2007 brought its share of changes to both the family and the business.
Joey’s son, Joseph, a graduate of Sam Houston State University, joined the team as Customer Service Manager, thus rounding out the third generation of Pedigos to be actively involved in daily operations. The County also made the final decision to raze the block where Pedigo Furniture first began operations, consequently bringing a close to an instrumental chapter in the life of the store. Most disheartening, though, was the loss of the life of Cherie to a 12 year battle with cancer that she fought fervently with the utmost of courage and faith. A definite void was left in her absence, but her legacy continues through the store and its employees, whom Cherie always considered family.
Today, Pedigo Furniture continues operations as a third generation business, and we strive to give back to our community that has so loyally given to us since our inception. Above all, we give glory to God, our Father, who has blessed us immensely over all of these years.
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