Family Owned & American Made
When the Middle East turmoil of the mid 1970’s caused a spike in home heating oil prices, my father Theodore J. Ryan took action by installing a wood stove to keep our family warm and to reduce dependence on oil.
He liked the wood heating idea so much that starting on March 17, 1977, St. Patrick’s Day, he began selling Efel and Waterford stoves out of a former dairy farm building owned by Russell Showalter, calling the business The Stove Shop.
As demand increased, The Stove Shop added more stove lines such as Nashua, Garrison, Morso, Jotul, Atlanta, Elm, Schooner, Better ‘n Bens, Russo, Citation, Godin, Alaska, and others I’ve forgotten.
In 1978, I graduated from Drexel University and came on board as a part timer, never suspecting that a career in the hearth retail business awaited! In 1981 our little family business was thriving.
Authorized Dealer for Vermont Castings
My dad entered into an agreement with Vermont Castings, then a mail-order company, and for the next two years The Stove Shop was the exclusive authorized Vermont Castings dealer for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Customers from a hundred miles away drove to Phoenixville in their pickup trucks to get their Vermont Castings Defiant, Vigilant, or Resolute stove. Many of those stoves are still in use today.
We retained an advertising agency, Boyd Tamney Cross, which is when I met my wife-to-be Cynthia Mellon, who was a graphic designer for the agency. We married in 1983, opened a second store in Medford Lakes, NJ and after three years sold it and moved back to Pennsylvania, to refocus our efforts in Phoenixville. In 1986 my dad retired and I took the reins.
Stay Warm & Save Money
The trend in the hearth business shifted toward gas fireplaces and clean burning pellet stoves as we expanded to meet the demands of the baby boomers of the 1990’s and 2000’s.
Today The Stove Shop continues to grow and change with the marketplace, offering the latest EPA certified high-efficiency home heating products. I enjoy being known as the “go-to guy”, the local stove and fireplace expert. I enjoy fulfilling the ongoing mission of The Stove Shop: “To help homeowners stay warm and save money.”
To our customers who have placed their confidence in The Stove Shop by their purchase of a stove, we thank you for your trust. To those of you who are considering adding a fireplace or stove to your home, we look forward to working with you!