Welcome back to Southeast-Brewster Patch's (SBP) business feature. We recently sat down and chatted about business with Anthony Palladino (AP), a Southeast resident who owns . He launched the business in the 1970s, and established the branch on Old Doansburg Road in 1990.
SBP: What made you want to open a shop in Southeast?
AP: Well I live here, and I also bought my own property. Prior to this I was renting, and I don't like to rent. We have three locations [Mahopac, Pawling and Southeast] ... This building used to be a barn, in the 1890s. We had to do a lot of work, it was pretty much falling down. We put a lot of money into it. Most of the locals wanted me to rip it down or rebuild it; I said "No, I like it. It's pretty. Isn't it a pretty building?"
SBP: So what's different?
AP: It's the exact same footprint. The exact same size. Nothing has changed. We left a lot of the old siding. We replaced the doors and windows—there used to be horse doors outside.
SBP: What sorts of projects do people bring to you?
AP: Well we're also remodelers. I own Palladino Building, Inc. We do anything, including building a complete house, which I've built 58 in my career—a couple down in Armonk, a couple here in Brewster, but mainly in Connecticut. Any residential construction we do.
SBP: Which location is your busiest?
AP: We opened up in Pawling in April ... That store up there is doing the best out of all of them. To get people to come to this location from Pawling and Mahopac is very difficult.
SBP: Would you say that folks in the community know you're here?
AP: I like to be off the beaten path. I don't want people to walk in here with plans from Lowe's or Home Depot and say 'Price my kitchen.' This is what we do. You always get care and consideration with me. Customers deal with me. They don't deal with sales people, they deal with the owner. I sign 18 paychecks a week, and yet when they come in, to any of the stores, the next person they'd meet at their home would be me. Not a salesperson. So really, the buck stops here. If there's a problem, I'm the first to know about it. We are a small, family business. My son, Nicholas, is with us now, too. He just graduated from Western Connecticut State University. He's actually the fourth generation of this business.
SBP: What's the process like when you begin a project?
AP: My guys have been with me for decades. Once we start the job we're there every day until we finish. We don't do one job here, one job there and bounce back and forth and take six months. I want to get in, I want to get out, and I want the customers happy.
SBP: Do you like your job?
AP: I love my job. I'm 60 years old and I still get as excited about a good design, and a client that appreciates it, just as much as the first day I started. I just finished this design for this kitchen here, I've got it all priced out, and I can't wait to make the presentation tomorrow. Now sometimes I'll make a presentation and people are completely thrown for a loop, because when I walk into a house, I don't live there. I see things completely different than they do. They're used to getting up in the morning with the coffee pot here, the dishwasher on the right side of the sink. I'm not attached to anything. Sometimes I throw people for a loop and they leave here confused, but then I get the call back, maybe even a year later. They went to other kitchen places and all they do is listen to what the customer says: 'Take out, put back in the same spot.' Boring. Why spend money if that's what you're going to do? For a little bit more, make it new and exciting.
SBP: What's the most exciting part of a job?
AP: The whole process, from start to finish. Making the presentation, getting people so excited along with me, because I'm excited. Then going through the design phase, picking out colors, stains, countertops and flooring, because we have all that here. Then doing it, and then, at the end, sitting down with them, either over a cup of coffee or a drink, and sitting in the plans. A lot of times I'll go back and bring the plans with me, lay it out, we'll sit there and look at it, and everything around you is now in 3D. It's so much fun. I have a blast, I really do.