Larry Blodgett: Flooring Heritage
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
LAFAYETTE — A third-generation owner of his family’s business, Larry Blodgett says he was basically born into the flooring industry. “My grandfather started his flooring business in 1946, and my dad took over the reins in the early ’70s,” he recounts. “From the time I could carry a hammer, I was helping out with the business by emptying the trash, organizing the pad warehouse and waiting on customers. When I was old enough to drive, I started making deliveries and helping out on the jobsites. Ultimately, I was trained in the craft of flooring installation and continued to do that through my college years.”
After graduating from college, Larry pursued a career in architecture, his main subject of study. However, it wasn’t long before he began to miss his prior livelihood in the flooring industry. “After becoming an architect, I found I didn’t care much for sitting in an office all day, talking to engineers and consultants,” he explains. “I missed being out and about, going into customers’ homes and interacting with people. Eventually, I decided to re-join my father at the family business. When he retired in 1996, my wife and I took over.”
Today, as owner of Blodgett’s Abbey Carpet & Flooring, Larry expresses the sense of satisfaction he derives from furthering his family’s professional legacy. “The fact that we’re the oldest family-owned business in Lafayette is something I’m very proud of. I enjoy being a part of our community, and I value the longstanding relationships I have with the people our family has worked with for decades.”
Outside of work, Larry engages in a variety of pastimes and hobbies, from hanging out with family to restoring vintage vehicles. “My wife, Karen, and I have two grown kids, Spencer and Olivia, and I really enjoy it when we get together for dinner or on holidays,” he says. “I also like working on my two antique Dodge trucks, which I use to advertise the business. I call them my ‘time machines.’” Additionally, Larry enjoys traveling and has recently started tracing his family genealogy. “As some of our family elders have passed away over the years, I’ve become the family depository for old photographs and heirlooms, and I’m in the process of sorting and identifying the what, who, and when. This got me interested in doing genealogy—so far, I’ve traced our family back to 1634, when we first came over from England.”
In his life and career, Larry espouses the importance of minding the details. “Since I have a background in architecture, I’m extremely detail-oriented, which is why every job we do gets the utmost attention to detail,” he explains. “I actually do drawings for each job and use laser measurements to ensure precision. We pay more attention to detail than any other floor covering store I know of, which helps ensure both quality and customer satisfaction.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Larry says he’d divide his time between his auto restoration hobby and world travel. “I would probably turn my garage into a little auto shop and spend more time restoring old cars. I’d also like to do some more traveling with my wife. We travel regularly, but there’s still a lot of the world we’ve yet to see.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first car?
A: A ’74 Ford Ranchero.
Q: What’s your dream car?
A: A ’68 Pontiac Firebird convertible. Actually, one of my bucket list items is to drive a classic convertible down Route 66.
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant?
A: Postino in Lafayette.
Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My train set.
Q: What’s your favorite style of music?
A: Classic country, like Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash.