Burch Supply Company, Schenectady’s oldest business, unveils expanded showroom

Man demonstrates a faucet

Charles Craft, owner of Chas. G. Burch Supply Company in Schenectady, talks about the features of one of his display models in the store's new showroom on Wednesday.

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SCHENECTADY — Schenectady’s oldest business unveiled a new expansion on Wednesday night as the Chas. G. Burch Supply Company held a grand opening celebration for its new kitchen and bath showroom.

Construction on the 4,200-square-foot expansion began last May at the 760 State St. store, bolstering a fifth-generation family business that launched in the city in 1890.

Owner Charles G. Craft said the expansion builds upon the 133-year legacy of his family’s business.

“Staying here and keeping our roots really allowed us to expand and create something that’s not really in the city anywhere else,” he said on Wednesday. “We offer a full, lighted showroom now as well as tile and flooring. So we are a one-stop shop for your kitchens, bathroom and other rooms in your house now.”

The expansion was aided by the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, which partnered with Community Builders in 2019 to demolish 759 and 763 Albany streets in order to clear space for the store’s expansion.

“There were two vacant properties that we helped take down and at that point we worked with Chuck [Craft] and his team on his expansion,” Metroplex Project Director David Hogenkamp said on Wednesday. “We had the properties transferred to him and we provided a $95,000 grant towards the project.”

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy presented the shop owner with a proclamation Wednesday honoring the supply company’s long history in the city, which has roots in the Burch family to when Charles Burch started as an apprentice plumber in 1906 before taking over the company.

“It shows a level of confidence on the part of the business owner to make this major investment,” McCarthy said. “It reflects on the growth within the community. You look around this showroom and you see outlines for kitchens, bathrooms and other things, so the demand is there because people want to fix up their property and invest in Schenectady. I’m just proud to be here today and give them some small recognition on behalf of the city.”

Craft noted that the price tag for the expansion cost significantly higher than the company’s projected $460,000 investment due to rising construction costs.

“I think we did it 100% the right way like we wanted to,” he said.

Craft said he hoped the expansion would allow the business to stay at the site for decades to come.

“I have several kids and I hope at least one of them will be able to take it over if they so desire,” he said on Wednesday. “Being a fifth-generation business is extremely rare, but to be a 133-year–old business in any market just shows that we stand the test of time and we always put our customers first.”

Capital Region Chamber Senior Vice President Pete Bardunias said the store’s new addition, which includes a functioning kitchen for cooking demonstrations, shows the desirability for business to set up shop in the city.

“It demonstrates the staying power of Schenectady,” he said. “To have a small business expand multiple generations and continue to thrive here close to the center of the city. These industries are very competitive, so they’ve done the right things and Mr. Craft has worked very hard to stabilize the future of this business and he knows his customers well.”

City Council member Carmel Patrick attended the Wednesday night ribbon-cutting and credited McCarthy with fostering a business-friendly environment in the city.

“I think the fact that they’ve been here as long as they have and they still continue to grow and they still consider that investing in the city of Schenectady is a smart business decision and is a real mark that the city has undergone in recent years, especially under the leadership of our mayor,” she said.


Categories: Business, News, Schenectady

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