|Our Commitment To You...
Over the past 10 years we've grown a lot by reinvesting profits into equipment, employees, and by bidding bigger jobs and have had good success at it. Our growth has been almost by accident. If you do good work you will have opportunities that present themselves. My dad taught me and my brothers how to work. We are not asking our men to do something we would not do ourselves. You need good leadership and need to work together.
We've always believed in doing things the right way, you do it the right way whether or not it costs you. If you do things right it may cost you in the short run but you will be rewarded in the long run. We look at the customer as a long term relationship. We will go the extra mile and do it right, we want our customers to be satisfied so they will tell a neighbor or a relative about us.
-Scott Grannas, Vice President
Grannas Bros. was started by brothers Paul (Sam's father) and Chester Grannas in 1957. The brothers began working together in the late 30's, when they went to a junkyard and bought a truck to deliver coal. They worked at a coal strip mine, and they fixed up the former junker to drive to work. They would haul a load of coal home each evening, and would hand shovel the coal off into basements of homes in Williamsburg , where they both resided. Paul was fond of saying he didn't see his house in the daylight the first several years he was married. The brothers worked and saved until they owned their own coal strip mine, then a clay mine, and finally a small excavating venture digging swimming pools. Grannas Bros., as it is known today, got its beginning during one fateful meal at Dave's Dream restaurant in 1956. Looking eastward on route 22, the brothers saw the tall limestone cliffs that are still there to this day. They knew the seam of stone would run up through the bordering hills, and bought ground and opened a quarry with an asphalt plant on Scotch Valley Road in Hollidaysburg in 1957. A third brother, Herman, joined them to manage the quarry. Staying true to their conservative nature, they paid cash for everything, except the stone crushing plant, which they made payments on. Their work consisted of paving state roads, township and borough streets, parking lots, and driveways. They also performed site grading and excavation jobs. In the late 1970's, Paul, Chester, Bob, and Sam oversaw the installation of a ready-mix concrete plant, bought mixer trucks, and began delivering concrete.
A change in ownership occurred in late 1992 when Paul and his son, Sam, bought out Chester and his son, Bob. Paul passed away in 1996, and Sam assumed ownership of the company. Currently, three of Sam's four sons, Scott, Wade, and Jeff, work at the company. Two of Herman's sons, Gerald and Donald currently work for the company, and a third son, Ken, has worked for the company in the past.
Today the Grannas Bros. does all types of asphalt paving, road reconstruction, and site development projects. The mix of work is very similar to what the company did in its inception, only with larger scale projects. It also sells crushed stone and ready mix concrete. A new quarry was opened in Ganister in late 1996, which contains a state of the art asphalt plant and stone crushing plant. The Scotch Valley road facility houses the ready-mix concrete plant, an asphalt plant, and serves as a stone sales depot. The Hollidaysburg asphalt plant was updated in 1993, and a new concrete plant was installed in 1997. Sam is quick to point out that despite the company's small stature in relation to its competitors, the competition has no over his firm. “When we put in our new asphalt plant in Ganister in 2000, at the time it was the sixth largest plant in the state of PA.” Grannas Bros. still makes it mark in the field, as Grannas Bros. is defined by the various jobs it does throughout Blair, Cambria , Huntingdon, Bedford , Clearfield , and Fulton counties. Most notably the company completed the $13 million Plank road Widening project in 2003. Currently they are performing a $15 million site development contract on the Logan Town Centre shopping complex, which includes excavation, drainage, utilities, and asphalt paving.
The company has enjoyed great recent growth in sales to a volume of $18 million in 2003. Stiff competition within, and outside of, Blair county dictates that nothing comes easy. This isn't the type of business that you can flip the lights on in the morning, and expect to make money. A hands-on ownership style, a determined work ethic shown by all employees, a loyal customer base, and operating by ethical business values are the key factors in Grannas Bros.' success.
Sam's sons Scott, Vice-President, and Wade, Secretary, represent the third generation of managers. Scott is responsible for bidding and managing all large projects, and Wade manages the quarry and all residential and commercial contracts. Jeff works at the Hollidaysburg asphalt plant. Scott credits his dad for teaching him, and his brothers, how to work. “I remember working on a crew at the Loretto prison expansion project in the early 80's when I was about 18 years old. The inspectors made us rake about 10 acres of grass fields by hand to remove all small stones, and my dad showed up every day to help rake. Dad learned from my grandfather, and we learned from him. It is important that your employees realize you wouldn't ask them to do anything that you wouldn't do yourself.”
Scott Grannas credits the approximately 140 dedicated, loyal, and hard-working employees as the key to the company's success. “Although leadership is important, every employee from top to bottom must be working in unison to achieve success. I am always amazed at our employees' willingness to do whatever is asked of them, and to do it without complaining. We have had people work 26 hours straight, sleep in their vehicles for a few hours, then go right back to work again. That type of dedication is prevalent throughout the entire company, and we wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame without our employees.” Barry Speacht serves as operations manager, and Tom Strayer as salesman. Dallas Robinson, Mike Kephart, John Bumberger, Bob Moore, Joe McIntyre, and Doug Frazier are job superintendents. Continued growth has dictated the need for more assistance in management, as Scott Galant was hired as a Controller and Don Ross as a Project Manager in 2004.
Scott stated, “We also wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame without our customers.” Paul Grannas was fond of saying “go the extra mile to satisfy the customer.” In the very competitive public bid world that we work in, there must be a profit margin in our bids. If a job is bid too tight, the tendency to cut quality may creep in an effort to speed efficiency. This is where true integrity shows up. Paul was also quick to point out that you do the right thing, regardless of how much it costs you, in order to protect your reputation. Scott recounts a story his grandfather told him of a parking lot job the company performed in its early years. Walking around the finished project, the inspector noted a substandard section of curb, but told Paul it would be okay as is. Paul demonstrated his pride in his work by saying, “I'll fix it, because this is going to be my job until someone else comes along and covers it up.” This long term philosophy of building lasting customer relationships pays dividends. Many private sector customers will pay more for Grannas' work—realizing that the lowest price is not always the best value.
The company has enjoyed growth every year, even having the best years during this most recent economic recession. Grannas Bros. carves out a solid niche by still operating with the same business values as in 1957; there is no replacement for hard work, you must work smart as well as hard, treat your employees fairly, respect the customer as the one who pays your salary, and make a profit to ensure the future success of your business.