New York State 114th District Assemblyman Matthew Simpson stopped by Telescope Casual Furniture Inc. on April 28 to present CEO Kathy Juckett and her family with a certificate stating Telescope is now recognized on New York State’s Historic Business Preservation Registry.
“New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, we created a program to recognize businesses that have been in existence for over 50 years that have been a really instrumental part of the community, by contributing to the community and also being a part of the important identity,” Simpson said.
“When we finalized the program we created a recognition,” Simpson said. “There’s also a website that will show people where these businesses are and create a trail for people to visit and learn about each community.”
The registry can be viewed in an interactive map at https://parks.ny.gov/historic-preservation/business-registry/default.aspx.
Telescope was established in 1903 in New York City as Telescope Cot Bed & Novelty Company and moved its headquarters to Granville in 1921 and transitioned to Telescope Casual Furniture Inc. in 1986.
Telescope’s vice president of marketing Kait Warren called the recognition “exciting” for her entire family who have spent their lives in the casual furniture business following the footsteps of her mother.
“Kathy (Juckett) as our leader is so naturally supportive of the community, the things that she does happen so fluidly and naturally. There’s nothing more that she’d rather do than support the community,” Warren said. “She really thinks nothing of it and doesn’t realize what a grand gesture she’s making on an everyday basis, whether its community members or every other business in the town and village of Granville. It’s nice to see her as the leader of Telescope to be recognized for that.”
When asked for his thoughts on Juckett and her daughter’s ability to carry on their family’s cemented legacy with more than 275 active employees, Simpson related personally to being a business owner as a drywall contractor.
“I was a self-employed business owner and I made that decision, I know how much hard work, how much dedication goes into that. As a business owner, I didn’t really care what was going on politically, I didn’t care about anything else, it was all about my business, my employees and how I was going to provide for my family and for my employees’ families,” Simpson said.
“I think people that have taken that risk and that responsibility need to be recognized and they are the people we need to be listening to. They are special people that have taken this risk to go into business and not rely on another company or another way to make a living and provide for their families.”
Simpson reflected on a conversation he had with an individual in the past in terms of business owners that always stuck with him.
“I had someone say to me once, and boy it really set me off, ‘there are no job creators, there’s only people that want to profit off of people that are working.’ I said, ‘wait a second. You didn’t take that step to do the hard work, put everything on the line, try to build a business that is successful and sustainable,” Simpson said.
Also in attendance for the recognition was Granville supervisor Matt Hicks.
Hicks commented on the unique distinction Granville’s leading manufacturer now holds on the state’s historic business registry.
“It’s pretty amazing that businesses are still around 100 years later and thriving. You don’t see that, especially with small businesses in small towns,” Hicks said. “It’s a tribute and when Matt (Simpson) was looking for places in his district, this is the first place that came up because of the history, the connection to the community and the quality of service and product that they provide.”
Celebrating its 100th anniversary in Granville one year later due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Telescope plans to host two events on Sept. 9 and 10. Sept. 9 will see a fundraiser dinner for the Granville Community Foundation acknowledging Telescope’s positive influence and presence in Granville for a century and Sept. 10 will be an open-house family-fun day.