What Is Millhurst Design Center?
How did Millhurst Design Center come to life? Millhurst Mills, Inc. is a family owned and operated full-service home improvement center established in 1925 by Bernard Hochberg. It currently sits on 15 acres in Manalapan, NJ. Originally purchased as a grist mill for wheat, grain, and flour, Millhurst was the local social gathering place for farmers to have a drink, talk about pricing and activities as they weighed and sold their grain, or purchased animal feed. In the 1930’s Millhurst expanded into a substantial lumberyard. In the early 1960’s, Millhurst continued to expand and was one of the innovators in what is now known as a “home improvement center”.
In 1973, it became one of the earliest Ace Hardware dealers in the area. Nardie Hochberg, president, took over operations in 1985 and expanded the wholesale and import side of the business with a heavy concentration on salvage material and auctions. He also expanded the retail lumber operation to include Benjamin Moore paint, decking, moldings, vanities, and kitchen cabinets. After hurricane Sandy in 2012, the stock kitchen business at Millhurst exploded with contractor and homeowner emergency rebuilds. To help out, Hochberg’s daughter Karen Barnes joined the Millhurst Mills team bringing with her 15 years of custom cabinetry design experience in Scarsdale, NY (Cabinetry by KDB). Millhurst began to offer field measuring appointments and design services, but the operation was solely run out of a non-climate-controlled warehouse.
Over the last 5 years, the cabinetry business has shifted from heavily contractor-driven to individual homeowner-driven through word of mouth. Barnes felt strongly that Millhurst should be providing an alternative “shopping” experience — a comfortable and more upscale kitchen/bath showroom environment for customers requiring design services. Not on display already in the warehouse, It should include custom and semi-custom cabinetry made in the USA, higher-end tile, and accessories. And it should return a part of Millhurst to its roots as a social gathering place for neighbors and customers by hosting seminars, demonstrations, and networking events. Millhurst Design Center is the realization of this concept. Millhurst Trading Warehouse continues to sell stock cabinets to contractors and homeowners who do not need design.
Our Goal at Millhurst Design Center
Millhurst Mills has historically been known as one of NJ’s best-kept secrets by contractors and bargain hunters alike looking for stock or closeout cabinets, tile, and building materials. They did not provide a design service. Over the last few years, as our surrounding neighborhoods have grown exponentially (from farmland to million dollar homes, 55+ communities, etc.), we have seen a shift in our customer base and their needs. The goal of designers at MDC is to provide personalized attention to individual homeowners and large-scale contractors, in-home measuring services, interactive design renderings, and detailed whole project coordination.
MDC is a state-of-the-art, 5000 sf. showroom with an unparalleled selection of kitchen and bath vignettes, a fully-loaded tile display room, and cabinetry sample room to fit any design style and budget. Let our team of experts help you zero in on the look that’s right for you.
Meet The Team
Director of Design
In 2001, Karen established and successfully ran her own cabinetry design business in Scarsdale, NY for 15 years. She was consistently named top independent dealer for Bertch custom cabinetry. In 2015, Karen relocated back to NJ to support the growing cabinet business at Millhurst Mills where she is 4th generation of ownership. Today, Karen has taken on a bigger role as VP of all retail operations and Director of Design at MDC.
Bob Engleke joins us with over 4 decades of tile and natural stone experience. Bob’s background includes tile manufacturing, wholesale and contractor sales as well as showroom design and management. At Millhurst Design Center Bob is building us a beautiful showroom full of unique tiles of every description.
Jenay Mike grew up in Middlesex/Monmouth County. She graduated from Kean University in 2012. She received a Bachelors Degree in fine arts/interior design. Jenay has been a kitchen designer since 2013. She loves working with people and assisting in helping their dream kitchen come to life. Her expertise is in space planning and creating a more functional and working layout.
Andrea has over 18 years of experience in warehouse distribution. She is
knowledgeable in kitchen, bath, tile, and design. Her experience in retail and management is a huge
asset to our company. She looks forward to meeting you and assisting in your future home projects.