Tip Top Furniture



Kenneth E. Dudley, born in Westerlo and raised in Freehold, NY founded Tip Top Furniture in 1978. I guess one could say that Ken was always a mover and shaker because he decided to get into the furniture business after buying a truckload of shoes off a buddy.  He then sold those shoes from the porch of his home in Freehold, NY. Soon thereafter, he started to buy truckloads of furniture and shortly after that he bought the original Tip Top Furniture building. It was a brick building last operated as a tractor store, connected to the Freehold Country Store. As time went on, there were many changes made to the Tip Top building. This was to make room for the many things that Tip Top sold over the years. In the 80’s, we were one of the first to sell satellite dishes. In addition, Tip Top sold kitchen cabinets, appliances, Televisions, wall paper, flooring, window treatments and lighting. Anything needed for one’s home Ken tried to make room to sell. It was the beginning of his vision. One-stop shopping in Freehold! Who would have thunk it!

Tragically, Ken lost his nearly 30,000 sq. ft. store and warehouse to a fire in 1990. You would think Ken would have given up after this, but instead he put up a tent in the front lot, ordered a new set of catalogs from his manufacturers and forged forward. He had a family to feed and people relying on him who had to do the same for theirs.

In 2010 Ken partnered with the Serta Bedding plant in Coxsackie, NY to add America’s Mattress to the store and partnered with Carpet One in 2012 to bring in the best in flooring sales and installations.

Here we are today standing tall through recessions, tragedies and crises. It is this fight that has made us what we are. The store has been family-run and operated since the very start. Ken’s nieces, nephews, sister, father-in-law and even his mother worked for him. His daughter fondly tells stories of getting off the school bus at Tip Top and helping her grandmother clean the store. Learning to dust with the grain of the wood and that little people were better at dusting under tables than the bigger ones. For her efforts, Mae Dudley would take Donna Mae to the corner store for a 25 cent ice cream cone, which she would eat while her grandmother read her a story.

If you walk into Tip Top these days you will be likely to see Papa Ken having his grandchildren teach him how to use his iphone while Donna Mae and Brian, along with Donna Mae’s husband running the day to day. Ken, as always is trying to figure out what to move and shake next while his immediate family takes care of the details. If you have read this and you stop by be sure to say howdy to one of the Dudley’s and they are likely to offer you a cup of coffee and ask you to stay a while.


9477 Route 32 • Freehold, NY 12431


November 25, 2015