It’s not often you find a design/build company selling green products and offering blacksmith services. But when you do business in New York and Vermont from a town of 4,000, you’d better exploit a niche. For The McKernon Group, headed by Jack McKernon (standing, right) and Kevin Birchmore (seated, center), high-end custom work is key. That could mean anything from an average remodel of $250,000 to smithing hinges and wrought iron vines.

The McKernon Group is indeed a cluster of talented craftspeople: It does not use any subcontractors. The hardworking group—average age 25 to 30 —receives an exceptional amount of in-house training. McKernon handles office/scheduling duties; Birchmore is production guru. But neither lay claim to being the one who keeps it all together. “The reason we call it the Group is because the group runs the company,” McKernon says.

For two years, the company has grown its green products distributorships. McKernon expects the volume of green business to double in two years.