As a young boy of 10, growing up in postwar Italy, Franco Ambrogi started to learn his trade of tailoring. He made his first suit at age 11. Soon after, he realized that his real success would come in America. He came to the United States in 1956 and quickly established himself as a successful tailor. After working for a smaller tailoring company in Richmond, he became a tailor and alterations manager Thalheimer's department store and, later, Berry-Burk Clothing. In their spare time, he and his wife, Ruth, would make custom-made clothes out of their garage. In 1972, Franco decided to use his skills to start his own business, providing custom-made clothes and alterations for men.
The first Franco's store was located on Dumbarton Avenue in the Lakeside area of Richmond, just north of the city limits. By 1976, the business had outgrown the tiny store, and Franco built a new building on Lakeside Avenue, just a few blocks south of his first store. Word spread throughout Richmond, and Franco's expanded into ready-made clothing. Expert, on-site alterations and attentive service quickly became the trademarks of Franco and his staff. After women's items were introduced in 1980, a new addition was built. In October 1985, Franco's celebrated the grand opening of its complete facility on Lakeside Avenue, with its marble-floored rotunda modeled loosely after the Galleria in Milan, Italy.
Franco's has also had smaller stores in various locations around Richmond.
All the while, Franco, Mark and Kevin have remained committed to keeping service as the highest priority. The friendly, family atmosphere is due in part to the family members in the business. Of course, our history is just beginning. There are exciting steps to be taken in the coming years. We hope you will be with us as part of it.