Helping people hear better has been a blessing for Pete Lumia, Valu Hearing Services owner, for more than 39 years.
For 25 of those 39 years, Lumia has been located at 641 Foote Ave., Jamestown. Lumia, along with his wife Diane, started the business out of their home, but within a few years, they both knew a separate business location was needed.
"My wife and I started the business in 1984 out of our house," Lumia said. "However, about three years later she kicked me out. We had five filing cabinets in the dining room and two phones on the wall. So, she made me come here (Foote Avenue location)."
From left, Jamie Abbott, Beth Graham, Pete Lumia and Diane Lumia are the hearing improvement team at Valu Hearing Services, located at 641 Foote Ave., Jamestown.
P-J photo by Sherry Hutley
Valu Hearing Services will test people's hearing for candidacy for a hearing aid, inspect ears for wax build up, council and advise appropriate hearing help. All hearing aid fittings come with 45-day trail.
"Sometimes people just have wax build up and we clean it out. That is all it takes," he said. "When that happens, we are delighted and they are delighted."
Lumia said he teaches people how to use their hearing aids and repairs them the same day people bring them into the office. If the hearing aid needs to be sent to a laboratory for repair, he can fit the customer with a loner to use.
"We want everyone to be happy," he said. "We serve people with a servant's spirit so they can be comfortable."
Working in the hearing improvement business for almost four decades, Lumia has seen a lot of advances in hearing technology. He said, today, everything is digital, which gives people great control of their hearing.
"We change the quality of people's lives. We get them reactivated with the world,'' he said. ''We allow them to become fun-loving, full of life, people again."
Throughout the years, Lumia said he has made a lot of good friends and enjoyed meeting many, many new people.
"When you change the quality of their life they become important to you and you become important to them," he said. "I've had the pleasure of learning a lot from them."
Lumia said his professional start came from a friend who sold hearing aids. At the time, Lumia was an assistant store manager for Quality Markets, but was interested in possibly finding a new career. One day, after returning from serving in Vietnam, he went to the reserves center and ran into his friend. After one day of working with him, he knew he wanted to help people hear better.
"I started working with Beltone and they sent me to school," he said about starting his profession and learning from Morris Greenstein, who owned Beltone Hearing Aid Center at the time. "I've been going to school ever since. I have to go to school 12 hours each year."
He continues school each year to be a nationally board-certified hearing instrument specialist. Lumia said he is the only hearing services provider in Jamestown with that classification.
Through the years, Lumia has expanded his operation to add satellite offices in Westfield and Boston, N.Y. Nowadays, Lumia tries to cut down the number of hours he works to spend more time with his family, which includes seven children and 14 grandchildren.
"I thought about retiring, which I can do next year, but I'm not. I love what I do," he said. "As long as the good Lord gives me the strength, I will continue to do it."
Lumia is passing on what he knows to his office and repair lab manager, Jamie Abbott. She has been his apprentice for two years and is soon to be licensed.
Valu Hearing Services also participates in giving back to the community by donating to St. Susan Center and The Salvation Army. The business is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call 484-7777 for an appointment.