by BETH ALTENA
Business has been good at Blakeslee and Son Inc. in the 10 months since third generation Brian Lovall purchased the company from his dad, Rodd, who in his time had taken over for his own father and company founder, the late Clarence Blakeslee. Now the young businessman has a second purchase behind him, which he believes will dovetail seamlessly with his current operations.
Lovall bought a seamless gutter business from a former employee, who has also come back to work for the company. With cross training now underway, Lovall can expect his staff to be busy through a wet rainy summer as well as a hot one.
“It’s going to be a good addition to Blakeslee,” Lovall said. “If it’s hot or cold people can call us.”
Lovall said the types of equipment and skills for gutter work are similar to what his staff already is trained to do. “We’ll still be driving the same trucks and going up the same ladders. We can just offer more to our customers,” he said.
Dirk Dennis, who sold his business to Lovall, had formerly been an employee of the company who went out on his own for years with his father Leon as a partner. With the loss of his dad, he decided to return to the Rockford business and brings with him the equipment and knowledge to get the Rockford staff at Blakeslee trained.
Lovall said he sees exciting possibilities and is thinking of offering some sort of discount when customers use the company for both air conditioning and gutter services. He said purchase of the gutter company comes with the trailer and very expensive equipment used in creating seamless gutters.
“We will also be able to offer maintenance, repair, gutter covers and related services,” Lovall explained.
Business is “rolling along” in the first year of owning his own company, but Lovall said he believes this will add a dimension that will offset the somewhat seasonal aspect of the air conditioning part of his business. “This will keep us going, building momentum,” he said. “When it is a really hot summer, people can call us for their air conditioning. When it’s cold and rainy, they can call us for gutters. It will fill in a gap.”
Lovall noted his sales representatives are happy to have options for Michigan’s unreliable weather. Lovall noted, “It beat sitting home.”