WHO WE ARE
Straus Carpets opened its doors in 1981 with an eye towards offering residential and commercial clients the best in customer service, product knowledge and fair prices. From day one, Straus Carpets staked its claim as the one flooring company that would dedicate itself to service over sales, believing it is the purest path to success.
Thanks to this philosophy, Straus Carpets is the first call for families, contractors, interior designers and real estate agents looking for just the right flooring solution. Moreover, Straus Carpets is one of the highest ranking flooring companies in social media business communities like Yelp and Angie’s List.
To compliment Straus Carpets’ reputation for service, the company stocks most of the best known, durable and beautiful carpets, area rugs, Forbo, vinyl, hardwood, laminates and linoleum. To be sure, if you’ve seen it, heard of it or want it, Straus Carpets can get it.
Not content to rest on its laurels, the men and women of Straus Carpets are continually looking for ways to prove that service is the path to success. Please let us know how we can help.
"We believe people come to us because we listen. That’s always first. Then, we treat them fairly, respectfully and we suggest what’s best for them — not what we have on sale that week.
We provide outstanding customer service, impeccable installation, fair prices and we stand by our work every day.”
— Tom Straus
MEET OUR TEAM
Tom Straus’ first foray into the flooring business came in 1975 when he started a carpet maintenance company that serviced the Bay Area.
After six years, he sold that business to turn his attention fulltime to selling new carpets, vinyl and linoleum to homeowners, businesses, schools, museums, churches and more.
He remains the core of Straus Carpets, driving the company’s absolute dedication to fairness and service.
Outside of the office, Tom’s hobbies include traveling and antique automobiles from the ‘30s and ‘40s.
Tom’s favorite causes are the School Lunch Program for Underprivileged Kids in Alameda County, St. Anthony’s Dining Room in San Francisco and Hebrew Free Loan.
Felix de la Cruz
In 1981, Felix de la Cruz was looking for a change. So, he placed a call to Tom Straus, who he had heard was starting a new business.
“I actually wanted to do labor only,” Felix recalls with a smile. “Tom said, ‘No, why don’t you come see me.’”
The two have been working side by side ever since. Felix’s work at Straus Carpets gives him the opportunity to do two things he loves — meet a lot of different people and help wherever possible.
When he’s not at work, Felix is an avid collector of antiques that need a little fixing. Felix’s favorite causes are the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet.
One day back in 1997, Vera Guzman got a call from her uncle, letting her know she had a job interview with his boss.
“I knew about Tom before I got here from my uncle and that he was a good man,” Vera recalls. She got the job and found a career.
“I feel like I’m more like a flooring advisor. It’s a great feeling when I get to help people find what’s right for them and they’re happy.
I use all of my knowledge to help them and if I don’t know something, I’ll find out for them. People feel that and they trust you.”
Vera spends her time outside of the office with her family and volunteering in her community and at her church.
Vera is involved with the Four Paws Society in San Leandro and the Davis Street Family Resource Center.
Liz Trujillo joined Straus Carpets in 1998, after spending a handful of years running a wholesale electrical company and selling securities and investments.
“I enjoy the people and I like helping answer our customer’s questions, helping them choose the right product for their home and working with their colors,” Liz says of her work at Straus Carpets.
“People just want to know what’s best and we take the time to answer those questions because we’ve all been doing this so long and we know all the different products.”
Liz takes full advantage of the Bay Area’s beauty when she’s not at the office — hiking and biking — and exploring different art festivals and street fairs.
Liz’s favorite causes are Parca (the Parents Association for Retarded Children of San Mateo) and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Martha Guzman first came around Straus Carpets when she was just 8 years old, tagging along with her dad.
After graduating from high school, and already familiar with the business, she had all the experience necessary to answer the phones, file, order flooring and deal with the day-to-day, in-and-out routine of the company.
Being bi-lingual, Martha is twice as valuable to our customers and us.
When not at work, Martha’s busy taking care of her children.
Martha names St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as her favorite cause.
Steven Graff was running an installing business with his father when he made the choice to get off his knees and into the office.
“I feel like my experience as an installer gives me an edge, because I can give our customers that insight,” he says. “Customers don’t get that if they’re buying at one of the bigger stores. I, and the other people here, have that knowledge.
Plus, I like floors. I think when you do your house over, you start with the floor up and I like that we’re the base for everything.”
Outside of the office, Steven is an avid sports fan and connoisseur of art events, music concerts and comedy shows.
He’s also writing a sketch comedy show.
Steven is involved at the Native American Health Center.
Karen Parento, the company’s bookkeeper, joined the Straus Carpets family in 2008.
“I fell into the flooring industry 22 years ago,” she says, “and the industry is a lot of fun. The people I work with here are a really great group.
It feels like this is my second family.” When she’s not adding up numbers, Karen spends her free time with her family and working in her yard.
Karen believes in the work being done at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts.
Armando Mendez is the jack-of-all-trades at Straus, supervising and maintaining the showroom and warehouse in between handling deliveries.
He’s been a part of the team since 2002. “My job is to keep everything cleaned up and organized so when our customers come in they can find what they’re looking for,” Armando says proudly.
Armando’s favorite cause is La Clinica de la Raza.
Elisabeth Bek-Nazarova is Straus Carpet’s artist-in-residence and has contributed the brilliant showroom mural and outside signage.
Born in Moscow, Russia, Elisabeth was educated at the Moscow Conservatory of Music and uncovered her painting talents a few years ago.
Elisabeth has never been one to shy away from a challenge, which was especially evident to all of us throughout the year it took to complete the showroom mural.
We have had the opportunity to work with some of the coolest locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, East Bay, South Bay and Peninsula. Here are just a few. Next time you visit one of these companies, check out their flooring.
BART Bay Area Rapid Transit
Alta Bates Hospital Oncology Department
University of California Berkeley
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Craneway Pavillion Richmond
Oakland Convention Center
SF Masonic Auditorium
KPIX News Sets
KTVU News Sets
Oakland Animal Services
Marriott Downtown Oakland
Courtyard Marriott Downtown Oakland
Berkeley City Club
Temple Sinai in Oakland
Coast Guard Island and Coast Guard Cutters
City of Piedmont: Fire Department and Police Department
Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro
Castro Valley Unified School District
San Leandro High School
St. John's Presbyterian Church