How are Rosso Furniture’s new owners planning for its future?

GILROY, Calif. — Sarah Rosso and Melissa O’Malley came into ownership of Rosso Furniture and Décor here by following their own paths. They believe those paths, now joined, will lead the two-store retailer into days of continued growth and prosperity.

Rosso takes over the family business founded in 1978 by Jaime Rosso Jr. and Anthony Rosso, her father and uncle, respectively. The retailer is celebrating the transition to new ownership with the largest sale in its history.

“Since I was a little girl, my dream was to one day be the owner of my family furniture business. Never did I imagine it to finally come true,” Rosso told Furniture Today. “It’s truly an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to continue the legacy of the furniture business of my dad and uncle. Tough shoes to fill.”

O’Malley has done contract retail merchandising and was a rep for Ashley and had worked with the Rossos several times over the years.

“We both come to the table with different past experiences. I’ve worked with hundreds of retailers, and Sarah has only worked at this location but has done so since birth,” O’Malley said. “We come with different perspectives but with a wealth of experience. I think we’re going to do well in the future.”

O’Malley said the second generation of Rossos had been talking about retirement, so she partnered with Sarah Rosso to take the reins of the business. At the start of 2022, the new owners took over as controlling managers and spent the year learning all they could from the elder Rossos.

“Individually and collectively, we’ve tried getting the information (Jaime and Anthony) have had and infused our own ideas and forward thinking. It’s been a yearlong process,” O’Malley said. “Now we’re at the point where we’re doing the official retirement sale to announce it to the community, and then they’ll be done.”

Sarah Rosso said while she’s been a part of the family business for 27 years, there was still a lot to learn, particularly when it came to the aspects of ownership.

“During my 27 years, I’ve had the opportunity to learn and shadow some amazing mentors, from leaders such as my Dad and uncle to the managers I’ve had the pleasure to learn from such as Mary Aguirre,” she said. “Of course, as one of the owners, this is a whole new level of learning, which I’m excited to take on the challenge and take on more responsibility. I don’t pretend to know everything; however I’m prepared to take on the new challenges we face as business owners during these challenging times.”

So what does the future hold for Rosso? Sarah Rosso said she sees the new ownership team building on the family legacy while adding their own perspectives to foster continued growth.

“I see Rosso Furniture and Decor continue to serve the community and beyond with stellar service, quality goods and unique experience from start to finish,” she said. “We are not just a furniture store but a family business that gives back and is committed to support non-profit organizations and schools and charities. I also see Rosso growing beyond our community, offering e-commerce and offering other communities the same small community feel.”

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