J. L. GOODMAN FURNITURE CO. was founded in 1886 by Jacob L. Goodman, who opened his store at Broadway and Harvard avenues in Newburgh. Featuring such items as brass beds and silk-trimmed mohair couches, the company prospered over the years by keeping up with changes in furniture styles and offering fair prices. Jacob's son Julius took over the store when his father died in 1919. After World War II, the rapid expansion of suburban home ownership led the average family to demand furniture of higher quality and better styling suitable for an informal lifestyle. To meet their needs, Goodman's stock included Early American selections in maple and cherry and other styles of famous-maker furniture and decorating accessories. In addition to its store at 8358 Broadway Ave., J. L. Goodman opened its first branch store at 6282 Pearl Rd. in Parma Hts. in July 1966. This was soon followed by additional stores at 21950 Center Ridge Rd. in ROCKY RIVER, 6420 Mayfield Rd. in MAYFIELD HTS., and later at 9650 Mentor Ave. in Mentor. Executive headquarters were located at 3201 Harvard Ave.
After a century of business and four generations of Goodman family control, the company's principals, Bruce Goodman, his father Henry, and William L. Dippel, chairman of the board, announced in 1993 that they would be closing all five J.L. Goodman Furniture Co. stores in Greater Cleveland. According to the PLAIN DEALER , Bruce Goodman blamed "cut throat" discounting from out of state furniture retailers who took orders by phone, as well as a general decline in furniture sales, as the reasons for the closures. After the closings, the Goodman family still owned two Ethan Allen galleries and H. Goodman, Inc., a company that manufactured and sold mattresses.