Although Northport Flooring America has the next generation of owners at the helm, this landmark store remains committed to excellence

20230706 Northport Flooring 0262 723
Get a feel for what Northport Flooring America can do with a visit to the recently updated showroom. (Photography: Felicia Vargo)

By Adam Cook

Northport Flooring America is an Akron landmark. In April, a longtime owner who helped put it on the map retired, but not before charting a course for the next generation.

In his 40-year career, Harold Musci, along with Derek Fay, established the location their predecessor named Northport for its proximity to the intersection of Northampton Road and Portage Trail as the region’s premier, full-service flooring company.

Upon Harold’s retirement, Derek partnered with a third generation of owners, Steve Walbolt, Donny Green and Mike Guhde, who envision the Northport Flooring America brand existing at the intersection of customer and community service, reliability and trust.

“We won’t be touching the name,” Steve affirmed. “We want to preserve the foundation of everything that Harold and Derek helped build and enhance Northport’s customer experience and community impact, upholding everything the name represents.”

Meet the third generation of Northport Flooring America. Pictured from left: Jerry Supple, Amanda Stager, Derek Fay, Steve Walbolt, Donny Green, Mike Guhde, Daniel Fay, JoAnn Hurley and Melissa Beasley.

Steve, Donny and Mike aren’t hands-off. They have built solid reputations with MDG Flooring America in Medina and Guhde Flooring America & Design Studio in Mentor, respectively. Both stores are part of the same 500-store-strong nationwide cooperative Harold and Derek joined after purchasing Northport in 1991.

A Flooring America convention brought like minds together as Harold prepared to retire.

“We knew right away they shared our values and that we wanted to help preserve Derek and Harold’s legacy,” Steve said.

To ensure a smooth transition, two years of negotiations followed.

“As part of the Flooring America family, we have the buying power to provide quality products at competitive pricing,” Steve said. “Customers who buy from us can buy with confidence because they get personalized service from our dedicated team of flooring professionals that they can’t get at a big box store, and they also get the best guarantee in the business.

“If someone purchases select flooring from us, they have 30 days to live with it. If unsatisfied, they can choose a different floor and we’ll replace it at no additional cost—no questions asked.”*

It’s a guarantee they can stand on because of the expertise and personalized service their team brings to the customer experience.

Northport Flooring America invites you to explore the showroom at 661 Portage Trail Ext. W, in Akron.

“We’re with them every step of the way,” Steve said. “We focus on guiding customers rather than simply taking orders, aiming to understand their needs as much as their preferences. Recognizing that the highest quality carpet or flooring may not always be the best choice is essential. It could involve other considerations like better padding or pet-proof options.

“For instance, in Northeast Ohio, we might recommend LVP or luxury vinyl plank flooring in high-traffic areas as a durable hard surface that looks virtually identical to wood or stone.”

Customers can visit the recently updated showroom, get a feel for what Northport can do in their homes, and hear about its expanded offerings.

“Right now, we do custom showers. Soon we’re going to be doing complete bathroom and kitchen remodels,” Steve said.

While there are changes in store, the third generation of owners remains steadfast in its commitment to building on an irreplaceable legacy.

Northport Flooring America has the buying power to provide quality products at competitive pricing.

“Our warehouse manager, Gary, worked alongside Harold for 40 years, which tells you the type of environment he fostered,” Steve said. “The people who work at Northport make it what it is. JoAnn in the accounting department has established exceptional rapport with our vendors. It’s challenging to replace that kind of connection.”

“Fortunately, we retained everyone and even welcomed Derek’s son, Daniel, back to the sales floor this month,” he adds. “He used to work here years ago and is returning to continue his father's legacy and be part of the next generation of Northport Flooring.”

Northport Flooring America invites you to explore the showroom at 661 Portage Trail Ext. W, in Akron, and To speak to someone on your design journey, dial 234-206-3792.

*Warranty valid on 4- and 5-star flooring products only.