Meet the Lead
The lead character of our story is Keith Davenport. Born in Abilene, Texas in 1959, his family brought him to Loveland, Colorado just a couple years after. Since then, he has lived and made most of his life in our beautiful state, living in Colorado Springs, Cascade, and Woodland Park; and wandering around other parts of the state during his work adventures.
Keith has spent his entire life in the construction industry: Fresh out of High School he worked underground at Climax Mine; during his twenties he roughnecked at job sites in the Four Corners area; he has performed all sorts of construction from framing, siding, drywall, and roofing, to cabinetry and trim carpentry, and more demanding jobs like underground utilities.
The Sales Years
During his thirties Keith worked as a salesman for several construction supply companies in places like Steamboat Springs, Leadville, Frisco, Vail, Breckenridge, Aspen, Farmington, and Colorado Springs. During the course of his work, he would go to job sites and deal directly with the people. He developed his own style of sales through which he understood and met the needs of the customers. His achievements in sales came thanks to his deep understanding of customers' needs, and his ability to match them to the right products and services.
Birthing an Idea
After 15 years of salesmanship, Keith felt he was ready to take things to the next level. Armed with his customer service experience and deep understanding of the industry, he decided he could bring new value to the market by starting his own business. Thus, Western Hardscape Supply was born on March 2005.
Western Hardscape Supply started out in a space in the 4745 Town Center Dr building. As with many beginnings, Keith was running the entire operation and being his own salesman. As time went on, he built a small team to run the company. From an old work buddy to his trusty bookkeeper, this early team helped lay the foundation for what Western Hardscape Supply has become. People who knew Keith and loved working with him began doing regular business with Western Hardscape Supply, and assured a steady growth of the company.
With every new beginning and growth usually come changes, and it was no different for Western Hardscape Supply and Keith. In the third quarter of 2007 the business moved into a new space in a warehouse nearby, at 5065 Geiger Blvd. The warehouse was divided into several spaces for different tenants, and Western Hardscape Supply occupied a tiny portion in the beginning. As adjacent tenants moved out, Keith expanded his operations into those spaces, until his business quickly came to occupy a third of the entire warehouse, with only one other tenant occupying the rest. During those years staff and operations also grew in proportion. By this time the business relied on a manager, a bookkeeper, two outside salesmen, warehouse workers, and counter staff. In March of 2016, after several computer techs and IT companies had failed to grow with the business and meet its increased technological needs, Keith brought on-board a new IT guy that would push the technological barriers of the company.
During this period, relationships with customers and vendors were solidified. The company would host special yearly events, like customer appreciation breakfasts and vendor demonstrations, bringing everyone together through a familial environment full of friendship, food, and interesting conversations. In Keith's own words, he strived to create a place ``where everybody knows your name``, reminiscing of the TV series Cheers. These close relationships with customers and vendors have been key to Western Hardscape Supply's success over the years, and allowed it to become a well known icon in the region.
An End to Every Beginning
In 2018 Keith received a letter that would shake things up for the company. The landlord had given notice that the lease for the warehouse space would not be renewed, and the business needed to vacate at the end of the current lease. This came at a time when Colorado was already in the midst of a generalized real estate crisis, so Keith new moving wasn't going to be an easy task. He weighed all the options and decided the best thing would be to invest in building a new space. This was still no easy feat, as finding and securing land was difficult at the time. After some stressful roadblocks, rollbacks on an initial attempt at building, and varied problems, agreements were made and contracts signed. Western Hardscape Supply now had a pristine piece of land that would soon be its new and permanent home.
From the Ground Up
Building from scratch had many advantages; most notably, the ability to make the space fit the needs. Keith, his team, and his architect brainstormed for months, bringing together their combined experience to make the new space ideal for Western Hardscape Supply's operations. They went through many iterations of plans before settling on a final version; and even then, as is common with these projects, changes kept being made through the construction. Everyone was excited with the possibilities the new building would offer: better office spaces, a nicer showroom, a much improved warehouse and yard space, and a wonderful counter for service among other amenities. The construction process, as many of you know, was not painless. Between bureaucracy to appease and coordinating different contractors, there was always some challenge to overcome.
Time to Move
Coordinating the move into the new place was a chellenge in itself. Moving an entire working business while minimizing downtime is no easy feat. The move was set to happen during Thanksgiving week of 2020. Before then, many preparations were made on both sites. At the old site everything that could be spared was being packed away, some of the technology infrastructure was being prepared for quick take down, and people were preparing psychologically for what was to come. At the new site everything was being prepared to hit the ground running, from the technological infrastructure to showroom shelves, everything had to be as ready as possible for move-in and immediate start of operations. The time-frames were tight and there was little room for error, as the old warehouse had to be vacated by the end date; no extensions possible. To complicate matters, some fire inspections were delayed, which created problems with certificates of occupancy being issued. The company had to continue with its original plan and moved during that Thanksgiving week. Because of the lack of those fire inspections, some of the merchandise could not be kept in the new warehouse and had to be temporarily stored in the yard. On opening day the certificates were still not issued, and Western Hardscape Supply was forced to serve customers outdoors. Fortunately the situation was resolved that same day, and the company was able to begin normal operations shortly after.
Present and Future
It took a few months for everyone to settle in comfortably and operations to be considered stable and normal. The new space won the hearts of the crew very quickly and the previous space became a memory that seemed already in the distant past. Western Hardscape Supply's new home met and exceeded all the expectations it was designed for. It has already provided fertile ground for new growth. But the story is not over. The company continues to grow and invest on internal projects to improve operations and technology. We continue to serve you as family, while keeping up to date with the latest and best products. In spite of our growth, we will always be small enough to listen, and our store will always be ``where everybody knows your name``.