Sufi Ratcliffe sits at her desk just inside the doorway of Premier Flooring’s new showroom. The place glimmers; everything’s fresh and bright. They’ve only been open in this location for a couple of months, but they spent more than a decade getting here. “My husband Justin and I are self-made,” she says, looking around her. “No handouts. We were both working other jobs, and one day I told him, ‘Let’s do our own thing.’ So we saved money and started Premier Flooring with $8,900. But the way this came together,” she looks around the new building. “It was like happenchance, all the steps that made it come into being. We had some friends who owned this property and were moving out of the county. They offered to sell it to us.” She pauses for a second.
“We believe in manifesting,” she continues. “You create your own reality. And Justin and I had mantras: that this would go swiftly, quickly and easily.” She counts them off with her fingers. “And it did.”
At that moment, a truck pulls into the parking lot. Sufi peeks out the window. “He’s got a big dog in the back,” she says. A few seconds later, a man walks in and states his case.
“I’ve got a dog,” he begins. “And he’s completely housebroken, but he tracks in mud and dust all over the floor. I need a carpet that can handle that.”
“I’ve got some rental grade brown,” Sufi replies.
“That doesn’t sound so good,” he grimaces.
Sufi pops up from behind the desk and walks him to the rug samples, suggesting the best color options. “Here’s some 15-year,” she shows him. “And here’s 25-year. With a dog, you’ll probably want that. It’s only $2 more per yard, and it’s much better.” He nods, checks the texture, and asks a few questions before moving to the desk for the quote.
“Now I upgraded your pad. Instead of six-pound, I made it eight-pound.”
“Is that thicker?” he asks.
“It will hold up much better than the six-pound. And,” she punches a few numbers on her calculator, “It’s only six dollars more for your installation. You’ll appreciate it.”
Sufi writes down a few numbers, then hands him the quote. He asks a few more questions, thanks her, and heads out the door.
“Did you see that dog?” she immediately asks. “That was a big Rottweiler. I could do whatever and sell him the cheaper stuff, but I have to live with myself.
“We only sell quality products here,” Sufi continues her thought. “And we’ve got the best installers. They’re the cream of the crop. We’ve had to clean up a lot of mistakes that other installers have made. When you get too big, you lose quality. So Justin and I want to keep it small and continue to provide the best product and service possible.”
The showroom’s full of samples, all of high-quality products. Premier Flooring also has the area’s largest selection of waterproof plank flooring. In their decade and a half of business, Sufi and Justin have learned what works best and what doesn’t. And they’re willing to help their customers find the perfect floor, with a casual, friendly, Lake County demeanor.
“And,” Sufi quickly adds as another customer pulls into the parking lot, “We have more plans. We want to put up a marquee with our sign and the time and temperature on it.” She smiles with pride. “It will be the only one between here and the bank.”
To experience Premier Flooring’s quality products and high-quality service, visit their brand-new showroom at 53 Soda Bay Rd in Lakeport. They’re hard to miss: just look for the big American Flag mural on the side of the warehouse.
Hours:10-5 Tuesday through Friday, 11:30-2 Saturday.
Phone: (707) 263-0858