A LOOK BACK IN TIME — Our Company History
By Kris Steele, NCBP’s Owner & CEO
My roots in the building supply business dates back to the 1960s when my grandmother, Rita Steele, worked as a bookkeeper for Allied Building Products. But the first steps upon the path that would eventually lead to and become my own, were made by my father, Ray Steele. Working his way through college, he took a job in Allied’s warehouse, which led to work as a driver and opened doors to many more opportunities.
His work ethic, which he would later instill in me, paid off as he continued to climb the corporate ladder becoming Allied’s first Branch Manager then Regional Manager and eventually Vice President. Leaving a legacy of hard work, Ray was integral in the cultivation and growth of markets in New York, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The drive and discipline he displayed epitomized how a father not only provides for a family, but teaches by example.
At the age of 12 I went to work for Allied, starting at the very bottom cutting grass and sweeping floors. I learned this building supply business inside and out by working in every aspect of the business. In the warehouse I pulled orders, loaded trucks, drove deliveries and dispatched the drivers for their daily routes. In the office I worked in accounts receivable, data processing and inside sales. I also got out on the road and worked as an outside salesman. The hands-on experience I gained in all the different roles within the business gave me the appreciation and understanding of how important each role is to moving up. This was the key to success for me as I eventually became Branch Manager of one of Allied’s locations.
I was proud to be climbing the corporate ladder, just as my father had so many years earlier. The next big opportunity for me arrived not by way of promotion, but from outside the company that my family served for nearly four decades. A Maryland-based venture capital group contacted me with an offer to run, and save, four different struggling building distribution companies. The timing was right and the challenge was exciting, so after eight years with Allied Building Products, I moved on to my next big thing. What looked like an amazing opportunity was really my destiny in disguise, with a major obstacle in front.
I was disappointed to learn that the building supply companies I would be running were not the only businesses in trouble. The VGC that just hired me was actually going bankrupt. It was on me to present to the bank and clearly demonstrate my plan to turn these businesses around and bring them back to in the black. I managed to impress them with my ambitious and comprehensive plan, but there was just not enough time to save the deal. After only seven weeks in my new job, I was terminated.
We will never know what form opportunity will take and what may have appeared as defeat, to me it meant that it was time to fight. I approached the bank on my own and told them that I wanted to buy the business. I had no money to invest, but I had a vision for what could be a thriving business and the wisdom and lessons that my father had passed on to me. I offered the bank dollar for dollar for the assets of the business. I went to manufacturers with my plan to convince them to open me up for distribution, all this after they just took a loss.
With funding from the bank, support from vendors and commitments from valued employees and customers, my dream of business ownership came true. I had purchased Castle Building Products, a residential roofing company with a history dating back to 1910 when it was a small sheet metal distributor. With only a dozen hard-working employees, a fleet of four trucks and a new name, New Castle Building Products was born in 2002.
Since then, New Castle has been my second home. I continue to work hard and have been fortunate to recruit and employ men and women who care enough to work hard by my side and help us grow. I am proud to have my mentor and father, Ray among those by my side.
With branches conveniently located around four states and more than 150 employees making up the New Castle team, we’re having fun!
Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to:
- 2002 Kris Steele purchased Castle Building Products from Ayers Rock Castle Building Products and changed the name to New Castle Building Products. The company’s main focus was on Residential Roofing, had a staff of 12 employees and 4 trucks in their fleet.
- 2004 we acquired Triple A Roofing and Siding, which became our Bronx, NY branch, location #2.
- Ray Steele joined New Castle as Vice President.
- 2005 opened a greenfield location in Norwalk, CT. This became our 3rd.
- 2007 NCBP entered the Commercial market by purchasing our first crane.
- NCBP partnered with Siplast and Johns Manville.
- In 2009 NCBP opened a greenfield location, Northborough, MA branch. This became our 4th branch.
- 2010 opened a greenfield branch in Hicksville, NY. This became our 5th branch.
- 2011 NCBP partnered with Fibertite, a division of the Seaman Corporation, as their sole distributor in the Northeast.
- A 7,000 sq. feet space above our White Plains location was turned into headquarters main offices and gym.
- 2012 entered into the Waterproofing market and opened a greenfield location in Long Island City, NY. This became our 6th branch.
- NCBP partnered with GAF as a Sole Source Distributor.
- NCBP hit a milestone of 100+ employees.
- 2014 opened in Paramus, NJ. This became our 7th branch.
- Opened Springfield, MA our 8th branch.
- A Yonkers, NY location was opened becoming our 9th branch.
- Opened a location in East Elmhurst, NY. This became our 10th branch.
- In June, NCBP hit a milestone of 150 employees.