Noting its humble beginnings as a Montgomery Ward Catalog Store opened in November 1969 by Howard and Shirley Millman, Millman’s Appliances will celebrate 50 years in business starting with a Saturday, Nov. 10 event. It now serves as a nationally recognized appliance retailer.
Originally located at the corner of Route 1 and Route 24, the Millmans’ Montogomery Ward Store was relied on heavily by the community as the era of catalog shopping and big box stores preceded the internet. The store operated until the catalog was discontinued in 1984, and was the last independent catalog store in the country to close. The Millmans then began using its generational connection to the community to sell appliances.
Current owner Gary Chorman and his wife Tracy purchased the business from the Millmans in 2003,. It’s where the former employee during his high school years at Cape Henlopen was given an opportunity he still cherishes to this day.
“Divine intervention was the reason we were able to purchase this well-known and trusted business, as Mr. Millman offered me the company as we stood on the front steps of our church. Being a fifth generation resident, I saw firsthand how Millman’s Appliances was there for the community, and our approach to that connection will never change as we continue to grow, adapt and focus on lending a hand,” said Chorman.
Chorman operated the store at its original location until 2013, when it moved to a new 3,000-plus-square-foot, top-of-the-line showroom on Route 9 west of Lewes.
Two original appliance brands were offered at its inception, but MIllman’s now boasts 57 brands from all over the globe, carefully selected for their quality, mechanical function, reliability, craftsmanship and ease of use. Growth has also come in various aspects such as home delivery and installation, aftercare services, a fully functional website that allows customers to create a profile and purchase goods directly from their home, various social media outlets to adapt to the business climate, more employees, and most importantly the ability to make a difference in the community.
“One of the most rewarding and interesting things I see with our business is the generational connection, as children and grandchildren of original customers are now our newest crop of customers. Something like this shows how the Millmans had a positive impact on the area since the store opened in 1969. We love the fact that a small business can build a relationship with our community over decades. Without our customers, we would have never been able to grow and also have the ability to work closely with over three dozen charities, support community-based organizations and address the many needs in our area by lending a hand. We are truly blessed to be in this position, and none of the accolades or accomplishments would have been possible without the help of others,” added Chorman.
Millman’s Appliances will be kicking off its 50th Anniversary Celebration with an event at the Route 9 location Saturday, Nov. 10. It will feature a wine tasting sponsored by Sposato Family Vineyards, a variety of guest chefs preparing foods for the public, manufacturer representatives on site testing out and showing off their products, door prizes, giveaways, and much more. Millman’s will be accepting donations to help current community charities provide hot meals to first responders and families during the holiday season.
Millman’s Appliances is located at 28841 Lewes-Georgetown Highway, Lewes. For additional information, visit https://www.millmansappliances.com.