A LOOK BACK IN TIME — Our Company History
By Kris Steele, NCBP’s Owner & CEO
My roots in the building supply business date back to the 1960s when my grandmother, Rita Steele, worked as a bookkeeper for Allied Building Products. However, my personal path in this business was first forged by my father, Ray Steele. While working his way through college, he took a job in Allied’s warehouse. This led to work as a driver and opened him up to many more opportunities.
His work ethic, which he later instilled in me, helped him climb the corporate ladder until he became Allied’s first branch manager, then a regional manager, and eventually vice president. 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. I started at the very bottom, cutting grass and sweeping floors. But despite my humble beginnings, I was able to learn the building supply business inside and out by working in every department. In the warehouse, I pulled orders, loaded trucks, drove deliveries and dispatched 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 integral each role is to the overall success of the business. My understanding was key to my success; I became branch manager of an Allied location.
I was proud to be climbing the corporate ladder, just as my father had done so many years earlier. My next big opportunity arrived not by way of promotion, but instead, from outside the company that my family had 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 project. What looked to be an amazing opportunity was really my destiny in disguise. However, it did not come without major obstacles.
I was disappointed to learn that the building supply companies I would be running were not the only businesses in trouble. The VGC that had just hired me was going bankrupt. It was up to me to make a presentation to the bank and clearly demonstrate my plan to turn these businesses around. I managed to impress them with my ambitious and comprehensive plan, but there wasn’t enough time to save the businesses. After only seven weeks in my new job, I was terminated.
We never know what form opportunity will take. Although some would see my termination 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 I had the wisdom that my father had passed down to me. I offered the bank dollar for dollar the assets of the business. I went to manufacturers with my plan to convince them to open me up for distribution.
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 just a small sheet metal distributor. With only a dozen 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 enough to recruit and employ men and women who care about our business and work hard by my side to help us grow. I am equally proud to have my mentor and father, Ray, among those supporters.
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.