City Electric Supply in Mount Airy is not a mom and pop shop, but with the father and daughter team of Dale and Brandy Mayes at the helm, it’s close.
The local branch of the wholesale electrical distributor opened for business Nov. 30.
“We can sell you anything that’s got a wire running through it,” said Dale Mayes, branch manager.
The folks at CES corporate headquarters said the local business is unique among the 400 in its chain for two reasons: the father and daughter managerial team at the helm, and the fact that the staff literally built the business from the ground up.
When looking to open a Mount Airy location, CES tapped Dale Mayes, an electrician with more than 25 years of experience in the field and in wholesale/retail.
Mayes already worked with his daughter, Brandy Mayes, who had been in the business for about four years.
It was the perfect package deal for CES, and the Mayes think so too.
“It’s great. I love working with my dad,” said Brandy Mayes, store manager. “I’ve always been a daddy’s girl.”
A national chain whose current CEO and president is the grandson of the company’s founder, CES touts itself as a family owned company.
“We’re obviously not a small organization, but that family element is kind of a cornerstone for us, and that’s what makes it cool that we have a father/daughter team opening this branch,” Leigh Ann Moltz, a CES marketing specialist with the head office, said in an email.
Dale Mayes confirmed that CES corporate is indeed, “very friendly, very family oriented,” he said. “It’s just a pleasure to work for.”
That feeling of family extends to the rest of the Mount Airy staff: Tracy Brown, Louis Knueppel and Tom Spraker.
“We hired the crew right off the bat, in April,” Dale Mayes said. And while the business wouldn’t open for months, there was work to do.
“We did all the demolition, construction, electrical and floors,” said Dale Mayes, branch manager. “Everything but the HVAC and the plumbing.”
A branch location would typically be staffed after that work had been completed independently.
“From the start, that was how he wanted it done,” Brandy Mayes said of her father.
“It was good for us,” she said.
By the time they opened the doors to the public, the staff had many months of blood, sweat and tears to help them gel, the kind of team-building that some companies pay to send their employees to.
“We’ve been through a lot,” Dale Mayes said, adding the experience helped foster a sense of ownership in all the employees.
“The other day Tom (Spraker) said, ‘you know, our fingerprint is here,’” Dale Mayes said. “It is.”
“We’re all in this together,” said Brown.
While the warehouse and retail area of the store are full of products for residential, commercial or industrial products, Dale Mayes said what CES really has to offer is expertise.
“We’ve got over 100 combined years of experience,” he said, including two staffers who are licensed electricians, so they can help make sure customers get what they need.
“We’re here,” Dale Mayes said. “Meet the professionals.”
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.