Family-run Blink Appliances inspires confidence

2014-03-16T00:00:00Z Family-run Blink Appliances inspires confidenceJulie Kessler
March 16, 2014 12:00 am  • 

What makes a customer confident that a business is reliable, providing excellent customer service and top-quality appliances? A family-owned business just naturally captures consumer confidence, especially when the family has been in the business for years.

Blink Appliance & Kitchens specializes in high-quality, built-in, and professional appliances that will last for years, as well as cabinetry and counter tops. Product lines include Whirlpool, Maytag, Kitchenaid, Wolf, and many more.

Allison (Blink) Jabaay explains with pride the family business: “My grandpa, Duane Blink, is still the owner. My dad, Doug Blink, heads up the appliance department. My uncle, Brian Blink, runs the cabinet department. I work in the appliance department with my dad and do the bookkeeping, and my brother, Zachary Blink, does deliveries for us.”

The Blink family’s nearly 50 years in the business began when Duane Blink went into retail in Chicago in the ’50s, selling furniture, then TVs and stereos -- “big ticket items in the ‘50s,” says Allison. When a foot injury made him ineligible for the military draft, he joined forces with a furniture store in Dolton, Ill., then opened his own appliance store on Torrence Avenue and attended service school for Whirlpool.

The big move was to a property in South Holland, Ill., with a house -- where he still lives -- and a barn he turned into a new store.

Each year, for five years, he paid one-fifth the cost of the building by collecting and recycling scrap and pop cans all year. Even as kids, Duane’s sons, Doug and Brian, began going on deliveries with their dad; later, Doug worked in sales and deliveries and Brian took on cabinetry sales.

Allison recalls, “When we were little, my mom would take my brothers and sister and me to Blink’s to visit my dad, and our long-time secretary always gave us M&M's.”

“When I was in grade school, I went there after school, doing office tasks to earn a little spending money.”

By 2000, the business outgrew the barn, so the Blinks bought an old door store at 2717 Glenwood Lansing Road in Lynwood, Ill. “And that’s where we still are today.”

Serving the south Chicago suburbs and northwest Indiana, Blink’s does it all—sales, service, installation and parts, deliveries—and they do it with family pride.

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