The sale of his locally founded, second-generation home improvement company is the best way to support the rapid growth of HullCo, said CEO Matt Hullander during an announcement of the deal Monday.
“We were growing so fast that we need West Shore’s help to continue the growth,” said Hullander, who bought HullCo from his father, Bill Hullander, in 2007.
West Shore Home, based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, bought HullCo for an undisclosed sum, and will keep the company’s 50 employees on as it expands across the market and rebrands HullCo with the West Shore name.
“I really feel like this is best, and my father does, as well, for all HullCo employees,” Hullander said. “It’s a decision that was difficult and emotional because of our history here, but I know ultimately it was the best decision for the company.”
HullCo, founded in Apison in 1977 as Buck Stove Center, has 50 employees and will continue to operate from its East Brainerd Road headquarters, Hullander said.
“Our existing customers will get their job done by the same people,” he said.
HullCo grew its sales about 50% in 2020 to $20 million, Hullander said. The pandemic fueled that growth, and the infrastructure and resources of West Shore will be crucial to continuing it, Hullander said.
West Shore, founded in 2006, has about 1,500 employees and 25 locations from Pennsylvania to Florida, and as far west as Dallas, said Josh Wood, West Shore Home’s chief development officer. West Shore has acquired seven home improvement companies since 2018, growing its footprint through selective acquisitions, Wood said.
“We’re not flipping companies,” he said. “We’re looking for good companies, good people, good cultures, good online reviews. It’s about the team we’re acquiring.”
Hullander has known West Shore Home founder and CEO B.J. Werzyn for years through industry connections, and the values of the companies align well, Werzyn said.
“We have shared common values, including a customer-first philosophy, superior work product, and community involvement,” he said. “We look forward to building upon HullCo’s foundation in the Chattanooga and Knoxville communities.”
Hullander will go to work for West Shore, but won’t be involved in day-to-day operations. “They’re keeping me on,” he said. “I’ll be a cheerleader for West Shore.”
Contact Mary Fortune at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @maryfortune.
1977: Founded by Bill Hullander as Buck Stove Center in Apison
1978: To generate business in the summer months, began manufacturing vinyl storm windows as part of the new TVA Energy Right program.
1981: Renamed to HullCo to reflect an expanded line of home improvement products and services.
1985: HullCo starts selling replacement windows in addition to storm windows, as well as bathroom conversions.
1997: HullCo moves from its location in Apison to East Brainerd Road in Chattanooga.
2007: Matt and Jenny Hullander purchase HullCo from Matt’s father, Bill Hullander.
2017: HullCo expands into the Knoxville area with the endorsement of Phillip Fulmer.
2021: HullCo is sold to Pennsylvania-based West Shore Home.