When a family business closes its doors, it can be a nostalgic ordeal, to say nothing of the logistical burden. But for Andy Liu, third generation in his family at the helm of Royola Pacific, it’s a time for looking forward, for optimism and altruism, thanks to a partnership with the Habitat for Humanity ReStores.

Family to Family

Royola Pacific was founded by Andy’s grandparents in 1976 as a purveyor of fine home furnishings. Now, though, Andy and his family have decided to close the business. “My folks are getting older,” Andy says. “They want to retire, and I’m ready to move on, as well.”

Andy Liu

However, Andy had more than paperwork to contend with – he had about 1,600 pallets of merchandise to liquidate, as well. And he recognized that he, like many, could choose an easy way out. “To close a business nicely is very difficult,” he says. “It’s really easy to just lock the doors and have your employees drive to work on Monday morning and find out they’re out of a job. It’s easy to not dispose of your inventory properly.”

Andy was not willing to cut corners, however. He ensured his employees had a good severance package, and he started seeking avenues to liquidate Royola Pacific’s inventory responsibly. “It was important to us to close our doors with good feelings,” Andy says.

When Andy came across ReStore, those good feelings were even better than he thought they could be. That’s because by donating to ReStore, he could not only have us liquidate his inventory, but all that beautiful furniture could be sold affordably, and the proceeds would benefit affordable housing through Habitat for Humanity. In fact, the sheer volume of inventory made it possible to benefit not only Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley, but our sister affiliates in Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties, San Gabriel Valley, and Greater Los Angeles.

“I can’t say enough about what this donation has done for us,” says David Gray with Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley’s ReStores. “It’s tons of beautiful furnishings kept out of landfills, and a huge benefit to our efforts to build affordable housing here, where it’s so sorely needed.”

Wayne Kleefeld with Habitat Sonoma County, which received five semi-trailers of inventory, adds, “This donation did not only help us in our mission to build affordable homes, but it helped our community. Our community experienced a terrible wildfire, and many lost their homes. Some have just rebuilt their homes and now are in need of furnishings and home goods. Many of these fire survivors come to ReStore.”

Habitat Greater Los Angeles has 16 trucks moving inventory into their three ReStores. “The donation was incredible!” says Karen Moore, their Director of ReStore Partnerships & Acquisitions. “It’s just continued to be a blessing to us and all three of our stores. It’s increased our customer count, provided many months of increased sales, and enabled us to do that much more to help the community.”

In that sense, Royola Pacific’s inventory gets two extra lives – one in the homes of ReStore customers, and another in the lives that Habitat families are building with the opportunity of affordable homeownership. “I feel good about that,” Andy says. “It’s really nice to know someone can use the furniture, and Habitat can use the money to build homes.”

For Andy, it is knowing that Royola Pacific can continue to be a family business, in a way. “My family made a good living off of this business,” he points out. “It provided us a lot. Now it can provide for other families the same way.”

-Patti Wang Cross
Public Relations Manager at Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley

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