The Shad trucks are famous for their part in the company’s TV advertising and consumers welcome the shiny deliveries.
At more than 10,000 sq. ft., Hall’s location in Windham, Me. (top) dwarfs his original 500 sq. ft. location (bottom) in Portland, Me.
Though Hall has had to make cuts to his lineup, he hasn’t had to lay off any more employees this year, being able to maintain steady business for its current size.
“If we could have another month of maintaining or just picking up a little bit, I’d be looking to hire someone. So, for us, I’m feeling fairly positive. Some of our competitors aren’t as busy right now. I think it’s the TV and the marketing. That means I’m getting a return on my investment.”
Shad’s isn’t the only wholesale shop in Maine, and kitchen associates and designers can choose who they want to give the work to; but it’s beneficial to Hall if a consumer asks for his shop directly.
“Before we started advertising a year ago, most consumers didn’t know the difference between the wholesale fabricators,” said Hall. “Most consumers didn’t even know who made them or even if they were made in the state. Now, people know Shad’s is a local company, and that’s been a big thing for us as well.”
While it looks like things are on the up and up for Hall and his shop, if the economy were to dive again, he’d be able to take full advantage of his brand and turn retail. Hall enjoys the worry-free work of being wholesale, but if he must go retail, he’ll be ready
“Going retail when you’re in countertops means fabricating more than countertops. Consumers want to get their cabinets and countertops from the same place. Then, I have to have money in the bank, a good plan, a couple designers, cabinet lines and all of a sudden there’s a lot more work.
“I have no intentions of going that way, but I’m prepared to do go retail, for instance, if my dealers were to drop me for a fabricator who was cheaper than me, because I’m not going to be slow or not busy and have to lay off more guys or close down because I’m a wholesaler. That being said, if I have to go retail, look out.”
Prior to 1991
Hall grew up around the wholesale countertop shop owner by his father, Bill Hall.
Hall joins the U.S. Army.
Hall returns, still active in the Army Reserves, working part-time at UPS, and begins installing countertops as a subcontractor.
Shad’s Custom Countertops opens in Portland, Maine, as a wholesale shop after a customer of Hall lends him $1,000 and rents him 500 sq. ft. of shop space to build the tops he was installing.
Shop moves to a rented 2,000 sq. ft. facility in Windham, Maine Hall leaves the Army Reserves and quits UPS to focus full-time on countertops and begins to hire his first employees.
Hall finances his first machine for the shop when he purchases a Striebig panel saw from Colonial Saw.
An additional 1,000-sq.-ft. facility is rented.
• Hall purchases 7,000-sq.-ft. building across the parking lot.
• Shad’s acquires another Striebig Optisaw
• A 3,000-sq.-ft. addition brings the shop’s total space to more than 10,000 sq. ft.
• Shop runs its first advertisement, a four-minute. segment about the company, on cable television.
• The shop makes room for the Striebig Control, an automated panel saw.
Shop is affected by the economic recession and is forced to cut back on advertisement and lay off three employees.
Hall launches an aggressive television campaign with NBC and ABC and Shad’s Custom countertop is able to increase business and hire back more employees.
Shad’s Custom Countertops Inc. can be reached through www.getshad.com.
Associate Editor Marci Presser can be reached at email@example.com.