Catching up with our Customers: JG Coram Construction Inc.
In this month’s installment of our Catching up with our Customers series, we interview Jerry G. Coram, who is the President and Owner of JG Coram Construction Inc. Jerry has been a valued customer of New South Construction Supply since 2007 when we began providing his business with necessary materials for their projects. JG Coram Co., Inc. is a full-service construction company, headquartered in Mount Airy, North Carolina, and was established in 1978 by Jerry’s father.
In 1983, Jerry joined full-time after spending his summers working there. He tells us that honesty in conducting business has always been very important to him and his associates. It is also evident that giving back to the community is something that is significant to him and his team, as JG Coram Co., Inc. is currently working on building a home called The Shepherd’s House, which is committed to providing a safe place to stay and various types of support for mistreated women and their children. We encourage you to read Jerry’s full interview to learn more about this charity and ways you can donate, to learn about the preservation work JG Coram Co., Inc. has been awarded for, and other ways the company gives back to those around them.
Full Q&A with Carolina Foundations, Inc.
- Tell us about JG Coram Co., Inc., its history as a company, and your main services
My dad started the company in 1978. I’ve been here full time since 1983. We’ve done a little bit of everything over the years — a lot of schools, churches, DOT work, and work with the industrial and manufacturing industries around the town. We focus on doing work in NC, VA and SC, and currently have a license in TN and GA. We’ve done a lot of work with Food Lion and Walmart as of lately. Our main focus is commercial and institutional general construction.
- Where are you headquartered, and what areas do you work/serve?
My father worked in the concrete industry in Winston-Salem, then worked in Mount Airy. He then started his own construction company and I just fell into working there over the summers. I fell in love with it ever since. We have 34 employees — 34 full-time and 1 supervisor contractor.
- Why do people work with you and who have you worked with or currently work with?
People work with us for long periods of time, and our veteran force has been with us for 18 years on average. We’ve been known to be honest contractors and we don’t try to cut corners. We want customers to come back to us. We don’t want to do one job for you, we want to do multiple jobs for you. Walmart has been a good customer for us, and school counties have been great customers — we’ve had $40 million in contract totals for schools in the last three years. Historically, we’ve never been competitive in school work, but we are doing schools really just in our area and the five counties near Mount Airy. Pre-Covid, we did see a big boost in business with a retail space/mall for a local developer, and that’s about halfway through. That’s a big project. With Covid, I think people are excited to get out when they can. For example my wife has a restaurant, and it’s been having record months.
- Tell me about an upcoming project you’re excited about and why?
We’re working with a local charity group called The Shepherd’s House, and we negotiated a deal with them to rebuild this into a great home. New South is supplying products and donating to The Shepherd’s House, too. It’s about 11,000 sq. ft. and it’s mainly for mistreated women and children, where they provide them with a house and give them food, help them with employment and help them with finding places to live. It’s a great thing, and if you’re reading, please check out the website — anything people can do or donate truly helps. Coram is also helping to redesign the kitchen into a commercial-like kitchen and it’ll be a really neat place. Classes in that kitchen will be taught to kids and adults so they can learn how to cook and then the food that is made will feed those who are staying in the house. Overall, it’s a very exciting project, and 48 people can live there at one time.
- If you had favorites, what are some of your most memorable projects and why?
I’ve done a lot of stuff over the years, and one of my favorite projects is when my wife and I purchased two buildings from 1895 and 1897, in which we then refurbished and revitalized. We were even given an award for our preservation of those original buildings; that was a lot of fun. We put a restaurant in the lower level of one of the buildings and put two apartments right above it which can be rented out. The restaurant is called Kazoku if you’re in the area.
- What predictions do you have for your industry in 2021?
With the changes to the administration and with Covid, we’re going to circle our wagons, save up our resources and see what happens. Our backlog is good, and we’re remaining positive.
- How long have you worked with NSCS? Who is your sales rep? What do you buy from NSCS?
We started working with New South in 2007. We work with Randall Wood out of the Greensboro, NC branch. I have had a long-standing relationship with his dad, Pete Wood, who I worked with for 25-30 years.
- What is your favorite thing about working with NSCS?
NSCS is always responsive when we ask about pricing and getting materials to us. Pricing is competitive and the service is great.
- What else would you like for people to know?
We plan on being around! I’m a second generation owner, and my 28 year old son now works here, and we want to turn this company into a third and fourth generation business. One other last thing to mention is that we’re fortunate with the loyalty from our subcontractors and suppliers and that’s because we also pay on-time. Diane Harrison and Lisa Brady are important to our company and very vital in processing invoices, payments, and getting these bills paid on time. We take a lot of pride in that.
- How can people get in contact with you?
Go to the website or email myself or Pat Stanley.