When Alan Neuwirth told friends in 1968 that he wanted to open up a rental store, they all thought he was crazy. Why would people need to rent things? He was destined to fail, he was told.
Luckily, Alan Neuwirth didn’t listen to his friends. He did listen to representatives from Taylor Rental of Springfield, Mass. And in 1969 opened up one of the very first rental centers in New Jersey.
Al, and his wife Marcia, rented out half of the old Berkeley Lanes bowling alley on Springfield Ave., in Berkeley Heights. The other half of the building was turned into an Elaine Powers figure salon. The gutters from the bowling alley were removed and the wooden lanes were moved to one side, creating a fascinating wood floor that remains a unique feature of the building even today.
With one other employee, Alan and Marcia opened for business in May, 1969. For the first five years, they literally worked seven days a week, twelve hours a day (or more), building a customer base and convincing locals that renting was really the way to go. With a handful of tables and chairs, some exercise equipment, one lawnmower and one roto-tiller, and a handful of hand and power tools, Taylor Rental took root in the community.
Within years, the figure salon was removed and Taylor Rental expanded its operation to the entire 10,000-square foot complex it still calls home. A few storage sheds and an off-site warehouse were soon added as the business grew and the Neuwirth family established themselves as productive members of the business community.
Today, some 52 years later, Taylor Rental is recognized by the industry as a forerunner and innovator. With an average of twenty year-round employees, Taylor Rental of Berkeley Heights has a market that encompasses the whole of central and northern New Jersey. It remains one of the few all-purpose rental centers, featuring both party and tool rental, as well as one of the premier Halloween and party stores in the state.
Marcia and Alan retired in 1988, but continue as stockholders of the parent company, Alan Neuwirth Rental Center, Inc. The couple’s oldest son, Paul, has been the president of the company since 1995. Paul was the third child to assume such a role, with younger brother Phil the General Manager and president up until 1990. The boys’ youngest sister, Lori Mattheiss was running the operation from 1990-1995.
Unlike many of its competitors that specialize in either party or contractor/tool rental, Taylor Rental of Berkeley Heights remains among a very few rental full service rental centers, providing products and services to a broad customer spectrum.
The homeowner, tool and contractor portion of the business offers a variety of do-it-yourself tools ranging in size from small hand tools to floor & carpet care to cement mixers and large Kubota brand loaders and backhoes. The center features brand equipment from Multiquip, Toro, Snapper, Bluebird and Bobcat.
The party rental portion of the business, which makes up approx. 65% of the annual sales, features tent, table and chair rentals as well as linens, china, flatware, caterware, concession equipment and a variety of grills.
A full-service Party Goods store, called “The Party Store” @ Taylor Rental is adjacent to the rental showroom. The retail outlet offers a wide variety of paper goods, party favors, balloons, decorations and a large seasonal Halloween store: children’s and adults costumes, makeup, decorations and holiday favors.
Taylor Rental expanded in March of 2014, transferring the party rental assets of Taylor Rental in Piscataway to a new location on Hadley Road in South Plainfield, NJ. Our party showroom and satellite warehouse – marketed as Taylor Rental Party Plus – features party rentals, including a full lineup of linen rentals, tents, tables, chairs, china, glassware and catering equipment. Check our secondary website at www.partywithusrentals.com.
Taylor Rental Center in Berkeley Heights was selected in 2020 as a finalist of Investors Bank‘s Movers & Shakers Small Business Competition. The competition recognized the grit, innovation, and dedication of 10 companies to their clients and employees, as well as the flexibility that helps drive all small businesses.