Made In Our Hometown: Sentry Safe
Updated: Thursday, July 11 2013, 01:01 PM EDT
Rochester, N.Y. - Ask anyone at Sentry Safe in East Rochester and they'll tell you what they're really selling is peace of mind.
The company's CEO, Jim Brush, points to a recent photo taken of the devastation during Superstorm Sandy in Breezy Point, New York.
A couple smile broadly as they look at family genealogy documents discovered unscathed in a safe made by the company.
"Look at this picture, look at the smile on these people's faces...this is what our company is all about," Brush says.
Sentry Safe was started in Rochester in 1930 by Brush's grandfather and the family still owns and operates it to this day. It has more than 400 employees in Rochester who are treated just like one of the family.
Model shop technician Phil Race, who has worked for Sentry Safe for 35 years says, "Your birthday comes around, they give you a birthday card and they ask how you're doing."
CEO Jim Brush says he personally hands out the birthday cards to employees. He says a family atmosphere is evident in the company parties, picnics, even the handing out of turkeys for Thanksgiving.
Sentry Safe is a Rochester company with global reach. Brush says twenty percent of the company's business is done outside of North America.
Sentry Safe exports to over 40 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, the Phillippines and the United Kingdom. But Brush says, the heart of the business, its world headquarters will stay in Rochester.
"It has great infrastructure, a great community, if you want to manufacture a product, all the talents you need are right here," Brush says.
Employees are key he says to helping the company come up with cost-saving ideas, but the customer has input, too.
He says their ideas are helpful in creating innovation that helps the company "win" in the marketplace.
In fact, it was customer input that, just within the last decade, drove Sentry Safe to include water protection in its products.
Brush says customers are also demanding larger storage capacity and for those products to protect digital technology.
Sentry Safe products can be found at all of Rochester's major retailers.