Raphael Hardwood Flooring is preparing for the grand opening of its new flooring showroom, which will replace the iconic Blewett’s property in Downtown Lodi.

For years Joshua Raphael has eyed the former ice cream shop on South Sacramento Street, in the hopes of one day owning the property and expanding his flooring business.

After purchasing the property and expanding his showroom he can now say his dream has become a reality.

Raphael Hardwood Flooring first opened its doors in 2001, from an idea that was born in a dusty garage and a long-bed Chevy, which helped him to establish his flooring business.

“I have always been eyeing this property. When it came on the market I saw the potential it had and knew I wanted it,” Raphael said.

For many, Blewett’s conjures up memories of going to the counter and grabbing a ticket while pondering which flavor of ice cream to have.

Blewett’s was a staple in the community and provided residents of Lodi with all their dairy needs from milk and cheese to ice cream and butter.

Blewett’s officially closed in January of 2005.

According to Raphael, transforming the space into a flooring showroom became a labor of love.

“We purchased the portion of Blewett’s that was once used to facilitate milk deliveries, so it was already kind of industrial. We did maximize the layout to set up panoramic views of flooring samples,” Raphael said.

By utilizing the showroom, Raphael believes he is helping to revive Sacramento Street and transforming that section of downtown to its former glory, along with other projects that are slated to begin.

“We have been on Sacramento Street since we first opened. We always saw the potential in this part of Lodi’s downtown and we are happy to be part of the transformation on this street.”

Raphael’s is a flooring company that was built on the principles of hard work, honesty, humility, and kindness. Raphael believes those standards have helped put an added focus into the installation process and helped him and his employees build relationships with their clients.

“We are virtually the last company within northern California that has real employees that can install flooring. Other companies hire subcontractors to install their flooring, we don’t,” Raphael said.

“By doing the installation in house we are able to provide a quality project at a fraction of the cost,” Raphael said.

The showroom is expected to display the craftsmanship and allow clients to not only see but to experience a variety of flooring options, Raphael said. This is especially crucial for his clients who come from out of town because it gives them more than just a flooring sample to look at.

Raphael’s, located at 221 S. Sacramento St., will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony in the showroom on Sunday at 11 a.m.

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