30 Years of Business

The following are some highlights of CFS’ history. There are many, many more companies that we have worked for and grown with. We feel privileged to have been partners with so many companies, helping them grow their businesses and our community. The most amazing thing of all is to have met so many wonderful people along the way who have helped and supported us.

So… if you are a client, a vendor, an architect, designer, employee or a friend –

Thank you for everything you have done for CFS !

CFS Timeline

December 3, 1979

John and Bill Sorteberg started Commercial Furniture Services, Inc. Our first office was the living room and porch of John’s home at 4251 Sheridan Avenue South.

We moved into 3,000 square feet of warehouse space on the fourth floor of 607 Washington Avenue South. We had no heat and no bathrooms. Our secretary, Terry Woog, wore fingerless gloves and worked about 4 hours a day or as long as she could stand the cold.

We installed Herman Miller for General Office Products at Broan Manufacturing in Wisconsin and at several Piper Jaffray offices in Minneapolis.

November 1982

CFS obtained a “contract” Commercial Household Goods Moving Authority with Budget Transfer from the State of Minnesota. We began moving companies -specializing in systems furniture moves.

November 25, 1982

The Norwest Bank Building burned down on Thanksgiving Day. CFS provided moving, installation, warehousing and refurbishing services for Norwest and Faegre & Benson over the next 6 years. We had a 100,000 square foot warehouse by the U of M, where we stored and refurbished Norwest’s furniture from the fire.


CFS moved its offices to 616 South 3rd Street. We retained our space at 607 Washington Avenue. CFS then occupied 50,000 square feet of space. We had 40 employees.


CFS installed 350 stations of Haworth for Norwest Mortgage. Bill and John incorporate Sorteberg Investments.


CFS installed the first Herman Miller Ethospace installation in the world for Piper Jaffray’s new Tower. We installed 750 workstations. We also supervised Piper’s move and, refurbished all of their executive furniture for them.

October 1986

We began to work with Walsh Bishop on the Norwest and Republic Airlines merger. We had 20+ men working there for the next 2 1/2 years. CFS leased out 100,000 square feet of warehouse on Yankee Doodle Drive to store, inventory and refurbish their furniture. We even moved everything in Northwest’s 747 hanger …..except the plane (even though Sorts had his pilots license!)

CFS began to work with Arthur Andersen & Company. We continued to provide their moving, installation and refurbishing services until their dissolution in 2002. At that time, we helped to market all of the furniture which they left behind.

July 1987

CFS provided disaster relief services to Toro when their headquarters on 82nd and Lyndale was flooded due to a 13″ rain. We had just installed 650 new stations of Herman Miller during their remodeling project – we got to do it all over again. Toro awards CFS “Top Gun” status.


CFS moved out of downtown Minneapolis and into our new building in St Louis Park. We have 60,000 square feet of space and now are up to 60 employees.

December 31, 1987

CFS was granted a Commercial Household Goods Moving Authority by the State of Minnesota. We added another company, Commercial Furniture Movers, Inc. (CFM) that had tariff rates which were regulated by the State.


CFS moved Wells Fargo into their new Tower, as well as, Faegre and Benson.


CFS refurbished the gallery seating in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Sorteberg Investments is dissolved, Commercial Furniture Brokers, Inc. is incorporated. We now sell 20% new and 80% used / refurbished furniture.

CFS began to provide installation, moving and refurbishing services for Greentree Financial. Through 1996, we installed 1,500 Steelcase stations in Minneapolis and 1,100 in Rapid City.


CFS reupholstered 13,500 Steelcase panels for General Mills and reconfigured all of the stations in their corporate headquarters.

CFS provided 600 folding tables, files and chairs for Wells Fargo Mortgage after the floods in Des Moines.


CFS installed several thousand Knoll workstations for Parameters at American Express, Metris, Retek and, Parameter’s own showroom on Shady Oak Road.


CFS loaned furniture to the American Red Cross when their building on the south edge of downtown Minneapolis was found to be contaminated with mold. They had this furniture for 3 years.


CFS becomes an SQA (Simple, Quick and Affordable) dealer. This was Herman Miller’s product offering for the dotcom world -20% of their product line that could be shipped in 2-10 days. Electronic design, specification and ordering (by andrade). On time-all the time.


CFS moved Piper into their new building on Nicollet Mall-850 employees. CFS sold the American Red Cross Herman Miller for their new building on the Mississippi.

CFS had 94 full-time employees and 110,000 square feet of office, warehouse, shop and showroom space at this time.


Herman Miller eliminated the SQA program with the dotcom crash -CFS was made a Herman Miller dealer for Small Business.


CFS installed 900 stations of Steelcase at the new Wells Fargo Operations Center in Shoreview. We then moved their employees into the space.

CFB is eliminated -we become one company-Commercial Furniture Services, Inc.

CFS restacked 1200 stations of Herman Miller at Piper Jaffray / US Bank.


CFS changed our domain name to www.cfsmn.com.

CFS handled Rust Consulting’s corporate relocation into the Northstar Building. We provided design and inventory services, we sold them Herman Miller, installed it, moved them into their space and disposed of their old furniture.


CFS is awarded the furniture and service contracts for the majority of the Petters Worldwide Group headquarters project. We designed, sold, delivered, installed and refurbished most of the furniture in their space. We also removed their existing furniture.


CFS provided the Herman Miller furniture for Minnesota’s first Platinum LEED project-Great River Energy’s new Corporate headquarters in Maple Grove. This building was designed by Perkins and Will. CFS supplied 400 stations / offices of Herman Miller’s Vivo system, as well as, many classic pieces of furniture.

CFS provided the Lacasse private office furniture for Welsh’s new building, which received a Gold LEED rating.

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