KINGSTON — In the back of Voitek TV & Appliances, there’s an old newspaper advertisement cut out and framed on the wall, with the caption “Welcome to the Family.”
For Ed Voitek, son of the late David Voitek Sr. who founded the appliance chain more than 60 years ago, business and family have been intertwined his whole life.
“This is really the only job I’ve ever had in my life,” said Voitek, who runs the business along with his siblings Nancy Peters and Dave Voitek Jr. “We were born into this business. We grew up in it.”
Voitek TV & Appliances was recently recognized as a Times Leader Best of the Best Award winner at the platinum level, continuing the business’s long, dynastic run of awards for its service to the area.
“It’s a cool feeling, I’m glad our customers are satisfied enough to keep choosing us,” Voitek said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
What started as a small television repair business by brothers Dave and Mark Voitek in 1958 after years of work in the coal mines has blossomed over the decades into the Wyoming Valley’s top spot for appliances.
The brothers moved from the basement of a family home to a storefront on Wyoming Avenue in Kingston, a location that still remains open and bustling with business all these years later.
Additionally, the business expanded to another Wyoming Avenue location roughly 20 years ago, this time up the road in nearby Exeter, a welcome addition to the Voitek business.
“My dad said that buying that spot was one of the best decisions we could have made,” Ed Voitek said. “We’ve got one full acre of warehouse space for extra inventory.”
Extra space is good because, as the name would suggest, the business moved pretty quickly from being solely a TV-focused store to featuring just about any appliance one would need for their household.
Whether it’s for the kitchen, the laundry or for a Memorial Day weekend barbecue, Voitek is the place to go.
At the chain’s Kingston store, a portrait of David Sr. hangs above the store’s entrance, a loving tribute to the man who not only built Voitek into the success it is today, but also introduced his children to the business and brought them up within the business.
“We were raised to do this,” Ed Voitek said. “I started in the warehouse, got to work building and repairing and eventually made it to the sales floor.”
As a result of this lifetime in the business, Ed and his brother, David Jr., and sister Nancy were more than ready and capable of taking over for their father when the time came.
David Sr. passed away in 2019 at the age of 88, leaving behind a legendary legacy in the business and in the Wyoming Valley.
But the business hasn’t stopped booming for the Voitek family, even with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on many small businesses around the area and around the country.
“It was slow, at first, but then it was like someone flipped a light switch,” Ed Voitek said. “Then, we were booming.”
That’s not to say that the pandemic hasn’t taken a toll on Voitek TV & Appliances, though; one lingering effect, according to Ed, has been the trouble the business has had finding available times to link up with customers in order to deliver and install appliances.
“Availability has been horrible, trying to set up the right times,” he said. “That’s been a problem we’ve had for a while.”
But the Voiteks have been able to navigate through with the help of their employees, most of whom have been with the business for a long time.
Evidence of this: salesman Tom Santucci, working the floor when a Times Leader reporter stopped by.
“I’ve been here for 44 years,” Santucci said. “I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Voitek explained that the store had been very fortunate to experience little staff turnover over the years.
Perhaps those familiar faces are what keeps Voitek’s loyal customers coming back, perhaps it’s great deals on great appliances.
Whatever the case, they can’t stay away from Voitek TV & Appliances, and the collection of awards hung on the wall hammer that point home.
“I love our customers, we all love them and we can’t thank them enough for their years with us,” Voitek said.
“We couldn’t be here without them.”