'Reputation is everything'
Camden — A father-and-son business in Camden continues to prove hard work and dedication to producing a superior product is a key to success.
Village Builders and Remodeling Company, owned by Brian Leonard and his son Casey have found ways to keep the lights on and employees working for the past 15 years.
“Being diverse in the types of services we can offer our customers has been key to staying in business during the bad economy,” Casey Leonard said. “We always have something going on, big jobs to small ones — staying busy is a good thing.”
This philosophy prompted the Leonards to take a chance and change the name of the company from Village Cabinetry and Remodeling to its current name because they wanted the public to know that they do more than just cabinets.
“We still do cabinets and case work, but we are capable of doing just about everything when it comes to construction,” Casey Leonard said. “We take pride in the fact that we have a very good crew of carpenters and we work with some highly-qualified subcontractors that take pride in what they do, it’s a great relationship.”
He added, “All of our subcontractors and our employees have been with us since the beginning and that shows a lot of commitment on everybody’s part.”
From historic renovation to new construction, kitchen, baths and additions, Village Cabinetry and Remodeling Company has even had the opportunity to design and build a super-efficient shoebox apartment. The 200-square-foot living space, using boat technology, is yet another avenue the Leonards said they would like to explore.
“I feel that the more things we are capable of doing, the more job opportunities there will be for the company,” Casey Leonard said.
The Leonards said although diversity has been important to the success of the company, it is the economy that has given them a clear picture of what their strengths are and allowed them to ride the economic roller coaster.
“I think tough times can make a strong business even stronger,” Casey Leonard said. “It can expose strengths and weaknesses of a business and a lesser-established one might not fare as well as we have.”
Running a small business is not a 9-to-5 job where you can leave work at work and enjoy your weekend, but much the opposite, he said. Casey Leonard noted work doesn’t come easy and if he isn’t paying attention and constantly trying to line up more, things can quickly get out of hand.
“We do what it takes to make a living,” he said. “It is a lot of work and if you turn your back on it for one second and take a break, it could be trouble. Sunday night is my Monday morning.”
Business recently has been good and takes them all over New England; currently they have a number of projects in the works, including restoration of a house in Deer Isle.
“I have never worked this hard in my life, business is good,” Brian Leonard said. “The average age of our crew is like 63 years old, so there is plenty of experience to draw from. I’m still very hands-on and am not afraid to get them dirty and I think that’s really important to our success as well.”
Brian Leonard said he feels when running a business in a small town like Camden, it is important stand behind your work and do a quality job every time.
“We work our butts off and you just can’t replace hard work,” he said. “When the job is done, we still see those people around town at Rite-Aid or Hannaford and the customer has to be happy because we all live in the community. Reputation is everything.”
Keeping up with trends in the building market and being able to work with a wide spectrum of clients also has helped this local small business. According to the elder Leonard, consumers are much more educated when it comes to what they want and being knowledgeable about products that they desire builds a sense of confidence.
“Our knowledge comes with experience and the people’s trust comes because of the quality job we do,” he said.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
(207) 236-8511 ext. 303
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