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Now, HEP supports 190 employees, including 14 outside sales reps. John’s wife, Chris is a kitchen designer at the company’s Canandaigua yard. Their oldest son, Max, is the store manager of the Newark yard.

“Max is 26, and has worked in yards since he was 14. He’s pretty much done everything just like I did,” John said. “I’ve exposed him to a lot of areas of the business, and he graduated with a business degree as well.”

Big Box Competition
When a big box store opened its second New York location just a quarter mile from his Auburn, N.Y. store, John knew quickly in which areas he could compete.

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“I don’t try to battle them with price,” he said. “There’s way more than price. They’ve always got something cheaper than me. It may be a piece of (junk).”

Hep-Sales-Employee-maleAs a small, privately owned company, John won even more business by reacting to situations on a local level and making decisions quickly.

John said the big box store made him “get smart really fast.” He bought delivery vehicles and hired outside sales reps. He learned to compete early on, which is good because now, HEP has big box stores in the area of all but three of its locations.

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“They could build across the street from me,” John said. “That tells me I’m in good locations.”

John said the big box moving in anticipated doing $25 million to $28 million in sales annually, and “if you take the sales of me and every one of my competitors, you couldn’t get to $25 million if you tried.”

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