5 things you didn’t know about John BatteBy NIKKI ROWELL,
He has been a part of the Batte business even washing windows as a child. If he isn’t working, he would prefer to be playing golf. He is a beach bum. He loves to be on the water every chance he can. He’s a dog person. He has a goldendoodle named Harley. His grandchildren have nicknamed him “Grumpy.”
When it comes to home furnishings and décor, those who have been in the business as long as John Batte have seen many trends come and go.
Batte, a Jackson native, is the owner of Batte Furniture.
The store has seen style evolve over the years, as the business has been in the Batte family for four generations.
“This business is 136 years old,” Batte said. “It was started by my great-grandfather, so we have been here all this time.”
Batte graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in business.
However, he wasn’t sure that he would get involved in the family business.
He went to school in search of a major that he considered productive.
“Business just made sense,” Batte said.
After his stint in the Navy was complete, Batte realized how fortunate he was to have the opportunities he did.
“I began to understand the value of having an established business I could go into,” Batte said. “It just seemed like a no-brainer.”
However, Batte did not just get involved with Batte Furniture after college. He has worked at the store off and on from the time he was eight years old and washing windows.
“Dad was a stickler,” Batte said. “Those windows were washed every day.”
During the summer and over holiday breaks while he was in junior high and high school, Batte worked in the warehouse and delivered furniture.
And later, while in college, he helped out around the office.
He began working full time at Batte Furniture in 1972. His father retired in 1978 and turned over the full operation to Batte at that time, even though he still kept an office and helped out for a while after.
Around 15 years ago, the store began offering a bridal registry. His wife Joy came on staff 12 years ago to help. Batte said he enjoys working with his wife and how she manages that aspect of the business.
“We have always been a high-end, premium store,” Batte said. “We have always carried fine furniture.”
Throughout the years they have also had designers on staff.
“We’ve always offered complimentary design service,” Batte said. “If you want to make your home more beautiful, we can help you do it.”
Upholstery is what brings in the most customers, according to Batte.
“The living room, the den, the keeping room, the places you entertain are a big part of the house,” Batte said. “So, there is an emphasis there for most people.”
While that is one part of their business, Batte Furniture also carries furniture for bedrooms, dining rooms, outdoor and more.
They also carry mattresses, which Batte said most people don’t realize.
As for what pieces catch Batte’s eye, he said he doesn’t play favorites.
“I have very eclectic taste,” Batte said. “As styles evolve, you come to appreciate the current.”
Many of their customers come from south Madison County and Northeast Jackson, but they also have customers from all over the state come by.