E. L. Grannas , relative, early 1900's - Downtown Altoona
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 and weigh scale, 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 early1970's, a ready-mix concrete plant and mixer trucks were added to company. 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, which he chaired until 2015. In August of 2015, family management entered the third generation, when Scott purchased the business from his father, Sam, and Scott's brother, Wade.
Paul A. Grannas - Early 1960's with Mack B Model
Samuel Grannas - Early 1980's with truck hauling paver
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. Under Sam's leadership, a new quarry was opened in Ganister in late 1996. The Hollidaysburg 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 Hollidaysburg in 1997. In 2000, a new state of the art asphalt plant was added to the Ganister quarry location. In 2004, Grannas Bros. was inducted into the Blair County Business Hall of Fame.
The company has enjoyed great recent growth in sales to a volume approaching $50 million. Stiff competition within, and outside of, Blair county dictates that nothing comes easy. Grannas Bros. still makes it's mark in the field, as it is defined by the various jobs its does throughout Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, Bedford, and Clearfield County. Most notably, the company completed the $13 million Plank Road Widening project in 2003, the $20 million site development contract at Logan Town Center in 2006, and the $24 million Bedford Co. I99 Resurfacing Contract in 2008. In 2017 the company was awarded its single largest project to date, the $28 million Blair Co. I99 Resurfacing Contract from 17th St to Grazierville. 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 son Scott, represents the third generation of manager at the business. "We credit our father and grandfather for teaching us how to work hard, and work smart. We credit the 115+ loyal, dedicated, and hard working employees as the key to the company's success."
Grannas Bros. crew paving in Sinking Valley section of Altoona - 1998
Logan Town Center 2004
Paul Grannas was fond of saying go the extra mile to satisfy the customer. 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. One time, after walking around the finished project, an inspector noted a substandard section of curb, complained a bit, 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. 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.