John Karg of Reeds Ferry Sheds – Reeds Ferry is a family-owned business, currently run by three brothers. They grew up learning the ins and outs of manufacturing the sheds and how to treat customers with respect, providing a quality product at a fair price. They also learned how important it is to treat your staff well, being supportive while allowing growth and independent decision making. That is why so many of Reeds Ferry employees have been there for decades and more, including John Karg who is celebrating his 40th year at Reeds Ferry this month!
In honor of his 40th year with the company, we thought it would be nice to share some pieces of an interview he did with our Director of Operations, Laurie Blanchette:
In March of this year, you have worked at Reeds Ferry for 40 years! What has kept you here?
The family type business and atmosphere. I grew up with the Carletons; Timmy was only 6 years old when I started.
What are the three biggest changes that you have seen in your 40 years here?
Volume, quality and variety. We used to build just board and batten and pine sheds. We didn’t use any plywood and as a matter of fact, that used to be a selling feature! We also didn’t build trusses, we used only rafters. In the winter, we used to build 80 dog houses a day, there was a dog house mountain out back!
Thinking back over the years, are there certain people that stand out in your mind, fellow employees that you particularly looked up to or worked well with?
Harry. Harry worked hard and was always here. Back in the day, I used to work 12-16 hours a day, 7 days a week and Harry was always here.
What positions have you had at Reeds Ferry?
I started out as a jig helper, I ran a jig, cut frame, doors, plywood, siding, loaded and unloaded trucks, was the shop foreman and am now the yard foreman. I was also Harry and Mary’s “Mr. Fixit”.
Is there a particularly funny story that comes to mind?
It was at the old shop. One of our current shop guys was on the road and ran a truck. He left one day, went to the customer’s site and when he got there, realized he had the wrong 6×8. He went back to the shop, grabbed another 6×8 and when he got back to the customers realized it was still the wrong shed.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to the newer employees, what would it be?
Don’t lift to impress. I see some employees out there grabbing two to three bundles of shingles at a time, that’s crazy. Lifting too much now will kill you later. Take care of your body now, get help lifting things that are heavy or take multiple trips. Doing that will help you in the long run.
Tell me about your family. What do you like to do outside of work?
I have been married to Lise for 24 years. I have two kids, a daughter, Linden, 34 and a son Timothy, 30. I have three grandkids, all by Linden. Kristopher, 12, Johnathan, 11 and Kaitlyn, 8. I like to read, ride motorcycles and drive around in the convertible.
The convertible he mentions can now be spotted parked in its very own parking spot at Reeds Ferry, the only spot reserved by a sign in the lot! Congratulations to John on 40 years at Reeds Ferry Sheds!