Hello, my name is Jeff Cohen, and I started One Stop myself. I always like to chat to people and hear their stories on life, their experiences, and how they came to do what they are doing now. So here is my brief little story on how One Stop got started! I had worked full time in restaurants throughout high school (Mayflower Seafood’s, the 1620, The Outside Inn) this was my career throughout school and a few years after. Had you asked me at the time, I was going to stay cooking forever as I loved the atmosphere, and the work ethics that I learned which were priceless, in retrospect!
* Funny story I must share here (One of the owners of the 1620 placed a set of rules on the mop room door- referred to as the mop room rules, rule number 1- clutter is our enemy! Rule number 2, a clean kitchen is a happy kitchen-it is funny how much we joked about them, but honest to God if they did not follow me thru life, and I use the phrases almost every day. If you ask my Daughter what a clean room is, the reply is always “a happy room”, but sadly, her room is not always happy!)
So a few years after high school, I was thrown a curve ball- the restaurant I was working for Tassy’s, in Kingston, was sold. The first job I was able to find turned out to be painting for a gentleman we affectionately called “Moose” and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I suppose I should mention here that nobody in my family had much talent in working with their hands, and I remember vividly crying on my 7th birthday when my dad could not assemble my present (a pinball machine) , and I still look back and feel so bad that I cried that day. I seemed to take very well to working with my hands, and I had the same vigor in painting that I used in the restaurants. In the kitchen I started out washing dishes (I still jump into a loaded sink at parties to clean) to running the kitchen as sous chef/chef- I placed the orders, inventory, set schedules, made specials, I did it all and loved the pressure! Within the first few months working for Moose, I decided I wanted to start my own company, but I would be the first in my family to do this, so I did not have the benefit of relatives to draw ideas from, or have a family business handed to me. I also had no money saved, and no established credit to speak of! I purchased my first company truck for $100 from a friend, when he purchased a new truck – I borrowed a few ladders to paint my first house, and off I went! I placed a line ad in a local newspaper (Old Colony Memorial) and lined up a few jobs via friends, word of mouth, and my new ad! I took the money from first job to purchase my own ladders and never looked back!
The next chapter in my life was many years of working alone, nights, weekends, what ever I had to do. I expanded my product knowledge and applications with my usual drive to be the best at what I was doing. Along with this came my marketing skills, management skills, customer and people skills, and the realization, as time went by, that I really loved what I was doing and this was it for me!
Now another important thing was happening as well, I had started to hire in painters, and I was lucky to hire in some very nice, and very good people. Some could paint, some I taught, and some taught me a few things, as well. We all learned and grew together over the years. Some came, some went, some would come back- but the core stayed on to become foreman and we all did it together. We were learning, growing, adapting, and always improving our skills. I finally got the brush out of my hand and picked up the pen full-time, and that turned to pen and key pad over time.( I remember the beeper coming out just the other day, I was so happy I could be beeped and run to my truck and drive to a pay phone, funny how fast times change!!) We always embrace change here and try to stay ahead of it!
So my little dream back in 1986 has developed a life of its own now! I always wanted to be known throughout the area and become synonymous with honesty, integrity, and good quality work. I wanted to be like my peers and set an example for others to look up to, just as I had been doing to the painters already in their prime when I was just starting. Over the years I developed a logo, a fleet of trucks, a reputation of quality and honesty, and some of the best painters and friends anyone could ever hope for since then! I employ approximately 25 full time year round painters, provide them a safe work environment, the best tools and products available to us, health insurance, and a retirement package as well! Our management team has paid vacations and paid holidays. We have become know for our charitable work in the communities, and I feel we have become model corporate citizens. All that and I have made some great friends and customers along the way! I have grown up in my company, become responsible, honorable, accountable, and reliable. I have been married (and sadly divorced) and adopted a wonderful daughter named “Chelsey” who is just awesome! I have two puggles (Pug & Beagle mix) Sammy and Chloe (Chloe was a rescue dog and they get along great! (By the way, Sammy is named after Sammy Hagar, as Sammy and I are big fans) So now you know the basic story of my life and my company! If you made it this far, thanks for reading and I hope you have enjoyed it so far!
A long time ago in 1986, One Stop started with a $100 pickup truck and a few borrowed ladders (Notice I painted my first truck myself, with Sherwin Williams DTM paint, a few brushes and a few friends!)
Our second vehicle, first van – 1988. (At least my drop cloths now stay drier!)
This is my third vehicle (1989), and I’m still searching for an identity!
Look, I have a logo now! (1990)
1620 When I worked there
After 1620 was remodeled. We painted it of course