WARREN - There's no doubt David Shick works hard at the home improvement business he and his family have been operating for 50 years, but for certain, having fun is an important part of his day, too.
That lighthearted atmosphere is apparent inside the West Market Street showroom of Modern Home Kitchen & Bath Center, Inc., more commonly referred to as: MHKB.
On the wall among the beautiful cabinetry, countertops and kitchen sinks hangs a sign emblazoned in red: "All unattended children will be given an expresso and a free puppy."
Home Kitchen & Bath Center, Inc., commonly known as MHKB, is located at 1002 W. Market St., Warren. Special to the Tribune Chroniclde
Thursday, more than 100 invited guests crowded inside the building each appearing to share the jubilance displayed by Shick. Visitors enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, a wine taste and great door prizes as they helped celebrate the company's 50th year.
Shick put it simply: "It's been a wonderful 50 years."
The business was founded by Shick's parents, Paul and Patty Shick in a small facility in Champion. It moved for a time to Elm Road in Warren and landed at its current location, 1002 W. Market St., in 1974. Shick said he started as a youngster pushing a broom around the store. His parents retired in 1985, leaving MHKB in his hands.
He's seen the business evolve throughout the years, but the one thing that remains constant, he said, is the quality, service and knowledgeable people.
"We like to have fun around here. We laugh a lot, and we help people create their dream, whether it's the bathroom or the kitchen. Anybody can fill up a room with cabinets."
Today, the store employs about 10 people plus three installation crews and numerous subcontractors, he said.
As far as customers, he knows they are all different. "Everybody creates a different challenge. You have different thoughts, different personalities, different sizes, different budgets," he said.
Michael and Sally Sura were among them. The couple made the trip from the Cleveland area to help celebrate Thursday. They noted the quality of work they received when MHKB redid the kitchen in their Lyndhurst home.
"Every time you need something, this is where you come," Michael Sura said.
Warren Mayor Doug Franklin, who also took part in Thursday's celebration by presenting Shick with a special proclamation, praised the businessman for the milestone.
"It's very rare, but it's always special," Franklin said of locally owned businesses marking 50 years of service. "This is like an institution in the city, really."