Jim Fiume, a New Yorker transplanted to Texas, once sold shoes. Now he sells upper-end composite windows as well as composite entry doors. Though going from shoes to fenestration may seem like a radical transition, Fiume says his philosophy hasn’t changed, only the product has. “I found out that people love quality and service and will pay for that.”

Operating under the same corporate name for its entire history, claiming 40,000 customers and more than 1 million windows sold, Gulf Coast Windows leverages its longevity as well as product quality in assuring area homeowners that what it installs will last. The company also offers a triple lifetime warranty on its windows. “That means,” Fiume says, “the people who bought the window have a lifetime, the people who buy the house from them have a lifetime, and if they sell it, those people have a lifetime.”


  • Installs with subcontracted crews but pays, Fiume says, substantially higher rates to attract the most experienced crews, whose every installation is checked and re-checked by a field foreman “who knows more about windows than I do.”
  • Generates many of the leads it needs through media advertising, and about 40% through referral and repeat. “All our leads are invitations,” Fiume says. “They are asking us into their homes.”
  • Has been named the recipient of the Better Business Bureau’s Pinnacle Award, and given the BBB’s Award for Excellence every year from 2006 through 2012. “People like quality,” Fiume says. “If they didn’t, Rolls Royce, Neiman Marcus, Sacks Fifth Avenue, they’d all be out of business.”