When the economy began to falter, many homeowners didn’t miss a step. Maybe they could no longer afford to pay exorbitant home renovation costs, but many took the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and renovate one room at a time on their own.
That same drive can be seen at Ace Plumbing, Heating & Electrical Supplies, Inc. The family-owned and operated business, headquartered in Cumberland County for 60 years, began a significant expansion project in 2006, constructing a new 50,000-square-foot distribution facility in Vineland. There was no way to know of the economic struggles that would begin shortly after, but they didn’t skip a beat. After several years of hard work, the doors opened to a state-of-the-art, 6,000-square-foot showroom in the facility in 2011.
Since then, the showroom, along with four other locations spanning across South Jersey, are helping homeowners accomplish the bathrooms and kitchens of their dreams.
“In a declining economy, instead of saying we’ll cut back, we stepped up our inventory and kept the same employees. If anything, we added people to the payroll over time,” says Ace owner Larry Berman. “We went out and looked for new business that could help us sustain the economic downturn.”
The result? An up-to-date, modern looking showroom with all the latest, innovative bath, kitchen and lighting products that you would typically only see in design magazines. As a wholesale distributor, Berman says the company—with locations also in Atlantic City, Wildwood, Winslow Township and Glassboro—deals professionally with designers, builders, contractors and homeowners, and it takes its deep roots in the community seriously.
“We’ve been around for 62 years,” he says. “We try to service our customers well and do the right thing in the marketplace.”
Whether a customer is looking to renovate their kitchen or bathroom, replace lighting fixtures, or update their plumbing or heating, they’ll find everything at Ace. Walk into the showroom and be greeted with seemingly endless extravagant displays of lighting, sinks, baths, hardware and more. While it might sound overwhelming, the showroom is designed so beautifully that it draws the customer in, ensuring they won’t want to miss any of the dozens of setups. Berman points out that many of the displays—including faucets and toilets—are even functional, giving buyers a true sense of how they work.
Carrying all of the top lines, such as American Standard, Porcher, American Brass and Crystal, Casablanca, Inax, Hinkley, Jacuzzi and Schonbek, customers are sure to find something to suit their taste. If they’re looking for a traditional piece such as a crystal chandelier, or something to show off their personal style such as sconce lighting or a modern vessel sink, they’ll find it at Ace. Even if a homeowner just wants to spruce up existing doors and cabinetry, Ace’s extensive display of hardware is sure to do the trick. “Whatever they come in to tackle, we’re able to assist them,” Berman says.
Along with a wide-ranging inventory, Berman says it’s their convenience, knowledgeable staff and customer service, including extended warranties and regular follow-up with customers, that makes Ace stand out from the competition. Their outside sales staff services eight counties in South Jersey, and a fleet of vehicles make daily deliveries across the region.
The company’s growth has greatly added to its convenience and reach. Berman started right out of high school in 1973, buying his first additional location in Atlantic City in ‘82. Three more came within the last five years, all the while retaining the same employees—and even the same names—at each acquired company to help retain the hometown spirit.
And now there’s the flagship showroom in Vineland to tie them all together.
“When we built this building, we feel we separated ourselves from everyone in our industry,” Berman concludes. “Our business doesn’t seem to just stop because of the economy. When new construction slows up, the remodeling business seems to take over.
There’s always something to do; we’re just hoping to do our part in making someone’s dream project turn into reality.”
Ace Plumbing, Heating & Electrical Supplies, Inc.
667 S. Delsea Drive, Vineland |?(856) 692-9374 |?TeamAce.com
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March, 2012).
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