Built in the Blue Ridge: The Rakes Group

ROCKY MOUNT (WSLS 10) - A Franklin County company makes furniture for your house as well as your house of worship.

The Church Furniture Store was the first business in the company, selling everything from the steeple to the carpet and everything in between.

"We are global with The Church Furniture Store.  We service the entire United States plus 27 other countries currently," said company president Sam Rakes.

They credit the internet with their growth.

Church furniture used to be a business where you traveled from church to church, driving around and doing presentations for churches and committees, but as the internet became more and more prominent, the founder of Church Furniture Store, Scott Gabriel, saw the trend of moving toward online sales and we procured the domain and just started to get the products out there and the pricing out there," said Executive Vice President Jodi Rakes.

Wood furniture is the company's specialty, with quality being a top priority, so products last for generations.

"I understand the degree of quality they want and being that it's a place of worship, you see a lot of people come and go, a lot of traffic, so it needs to be able to handle a lot of people coming in and out," said Sam Rakes.

Over the past year, the company has brought its two facilities under one roof. That has allowed them to work in a more controlled environment, turn products around faster and at an even higher quality.

Because the church furniture market can become saturated, the company has expanded into products for the home, including concealed furniture.

"Blue Ridge Concealed Furniture, which is our new hot item, really caters to people who really want a high-quality piece of furniture along with practicality and any peace of security along with that," said Sam Rakes.

The company currently has about 20 employees, filling positions in sales, shipping and manufacturing.