In the early 1930s Ben and Eva Winter took a risk and invested in Derby Gas Station before established Furniture Mall Kansas, along with a soda fountain – which they named, Howdy Come In, on Highway 50, west of Emporia, Kansas. They also bought four milk cows and named them Sutra, Faith, Perseverance, and Hope. Because cows produce more milk than they expect, they make a family specialty – homemade frozen pudding. It soon became a featured item at Howdy Come In. Eva will delight customers with her uplifting attitudes and by adding “a little extra on top” to each portion of frozen custard. Popular Winter’s frozen custard became very popular, they immediately drove it to the streets of Emporia, the first horse drawn carriage, then with a motorized cart.
One day a hitchhiker stopped in the cabinet for making cabinet-making equipment. Ben and Eva hired him to use the walnut in one of the barns to make the chifferobe to soon give birth to a baby boy, “Bobby” (second generation owner, Bob Winter). Ben and Eva were inspired to buy furniture from local farm auctions and record their partners. Soon the milk warehouse became home to new furniture and reconditioned, and early Winter Furniture Store. After a few years, Ben and Eva wanted to grow their beloved business and move the store from the milk shed to downtown Emporia. Later generations, in 1967, Bob Winter and Joyce’s wife, joined the family business. They moved from Denver, Colorado where Bob began his career as a buyer of Davis and Shaw Furniture. Bob worked with his brother Richard and Ben’s father for almost 30 years at Winter Furniture in Emporia, before Furniture Mall Kansas.
When Bob and Joyce almost started, they started planning a top shop in Topeka – when most people were ready to buy a store. As they brainstorm business models with families, their eldest son, Jeff, is very interested in this concept Furniture Mall Kansas. He thrilled his parents when he and his wife June decided to join them in opening Discovery Furniture by Winter, in Topeka, in 2000.