The House of Clocks lives by its own motto of “Restoring the past for the future.”
The business began with a passion from Marie and Joe Hohn in September 1970, and here it is 50 years later honoring Marie and Joe by staying true to their original mission. The very same clock that inspired the business, a Gustav Becker from Germany, still hangs on its walls, making it a connection point between the Hohn family’s storied past and the future ahead.
That’s the heart and soul behind The House of Clocks, and it is just as meaningful in today’s age of cell phones and technology as it was a half-century ago. The core mission of providing outstanding service continues to drive the business, which is now run by Marie and Joe’s sons, Chuck and Steve, and Chuck’s wife Sandy.
“We’ve survived by the quality of our work,” Chuck explained. “We continue to do repairs at a high level and quality, and people keep coming back. The competitors have gone away, and now we’re one of the largest ones left in California. We keep doing it right, and we keep treating people right.”
House of Clocks began with that Gustav Becker clock, which was given to Marie and Joe while they were in Luxembourg. It was in rough shape and was stashed away for a while in the trunk of their car before Joe committed to restoring the treasured piece one component at a time.
That adventure began in 1944, and years later, The House of Clocks was born in the Hohns’ own home. They later outgrew that operation and set up their first storefront. They’re still going strong in Lodi with the same care and attention to detail that Joe showed his original Gustav Becker.
Oftentimes, the repair work is about so much more than just telling time.
Clocks are family treasures that connect one generation to the next, and they bring back a new sense of pride and nostalgia when they are restored to their former glory.
“We’d get jobs that are just train wrecks,” Chuck said. “They’re in a box in pieces, and we’ll totally redo everything. We’ll get the clock working, put the cabinet back together, restore the finish, and clean it all up. People come in and they’ll start crying when they see it. They don’t even recognize it. Jobs like that mean a lot to us.”
The level of care shows.
The House of Clocks keeps chugging along through technology advancements, economic ups and downs, and all the other day-to-day challenges that come with running a successful business for 50 years. Chuck, Steve and Sandy continue to operate with Marie and Joe’s original vision in their hearts and minds.
“Yesterday, a grandmother bought her granddaughter a beautiful clock as a wedding gift,” Chuck said. “She got one as a wedding gift, and now she gives all the grandchildren a nice clock. There aren’t a whole lot of pieces passed down today with this throwaway world.
“We like doing that part. We’re sentimental, too, about how our parents worked so hard later in their life. That doesn’t go past us at all.”
Marie and Joe and their original Gustav Becker can all be seen at the Lodi store. But just as importantly, the original spirit of The House of Clocks is alive and well. The store is always ready to help others honor their family’s roots by helping them bring timeless treasures back to life.
“People know that we are honest and fair,” Chuck said. “We always try and treat people right and do quality work at a fair price. We’ve all survived by treating people with respect and kindness.”