Thorndike Mills going out of business by end of year

Hampden County

PALMER, Mass. (WWLP) – Thorndike Mills, the iconic braided rug manufacturer in Palmer, will go out of business the end of the year.

Ed and Mitchell Garabedian are second-generation owners of Thorndike Mills, the braided rug manufacturing firm founded by their dad, Gabriel Garabedian in the 1950s.

Ed and Mitchell Garabedian will go out of business at the end of the year. Their fabric supplier is closing his doors and shifting operations overseas, but not because of a slump in the demand for their rugs.

“We launched a sale from the mass sales tax weekend. From that weekend going forward, the response here has been unbelievable,” said Mitchell.

Ed and Mitchell have given a combined 100 years to the company. They insist the real credit goes to their generations of employees.

Ed told 22News, “The employees here are like family, we treat each other like family, we feel the same emotions.”

Even during peak employment of 60 rug makers, job openings only occurred when someone retired.

Veteran employee Marlene Young is saddened by the end of the year shut down, “They’re like a family to me, I’ve been here for 39 years and I enjoy working here.”

With Thorndike Mills soon to become part of western Massachusetts history, the Garabedian brothers will donate a piece of equipment to Sturbridge Village, machinery their father used when he founded the company more than 60 years ago.

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