When brothers Mike and Mark Zerbach decided they wanted to work together, they chose to purchase a kitchen and bath company. As the owner of Zerbach Construction, in Roseburg, Ore., Mike was already involved in remodeling; Mark was ready to retire from Boeing and join his brother.
Your Kitchen & Bath (YKB) was a good fit for the Zerbachs for several reasons. First, timing. YKB owners Leon and Harriet Noel were ready to retire and sell the company. Second, Mike was familiar with YKB because he would send Zerbach Construction clients there for K&B product selections. Third, the YKB showroom provided an excellent base for expansion.
The Zerbachs envisioned building on YKB’s client base to meet both the needs of homeowners who walk in to the showroom and professional contractors who send clients in for selections. Their goal: to create a “destination” showroom for homeowners and pros. To that end, they added several contractor product lines and more tile, faucets, fixtures, and toilets.
To accommodate these new lines, the brothers purchased and remodeled a new space a few blocks from YKB’s original showroom. All the displays are new, except three that they updated with new countertops and hardware.
The company currently has about five contractor customers, but there’s a catch: because Mike owns Zerbach Construction, some contractors worry that YKB will try to steer their clients making selections toward working with Zerbach Construction. The Zerbachs are adamant about keeping the two companies separate, but it will take time to convince other contractors. “It’s going to take a while to build relationships with them,” Mark says. —Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING. twitter.com/SilverNina
Purchase Plan: A unique arrangement provides a former owner with an active role after the sale