It’s a Family Business at Solomon Colors
The concrete product market is one that is being led by a family-owned company in Springfield, Illinois by the name of Solomon Colors. They have gone international and are supplying businesses with all sorts of concrete pigments and innovative techniques.
COVID-19 has been at the center of all businesses this past year, but Solomon Colors was able to weather the storm. “There were a lot of winners and losers when it came to COVID, but we were one of the winners,” said Rich Solomon, CEO and Chairperson of the Board. As expected, there was a downturn in March, but they quickly recovered and actually achieved record months.
A 4th-generation business that started in 1927, the family worked in the coalmines and eventually began making pigments. They gained control of their product lines and focused on coloring and decorative concrete. Solomon Colors was also the first company to develop a metering system for ready-mix concrete. In the 90’s, they began focusing mainly on coloring and created another plant in Rialto, CA. According to Rich, they used Bradley University’s Illinois SBDC International Trade Center assistance in terms of branching out to international contacts, which is 10% of their business.
The business has faced some ups and downs, and one of those times of downturn was the recession in 2008. “It was a difficult time because you had people wearing multiple hats and one person can’t possibly do everything,” said Adam Solomon, President. It has been a slow and steady climb since then, and they finally saw growth again during the past two years.
Solomon Colors is looking into potential opportunities to help the business grow. “Our competitors are not as customer-focused as we are, mainly because we are a family-owned business and can provide a personal touch,” said Adam. He remarked that they are situated well and are looking for reliable supply as well as keeping everything American-made.
Solomon Colors is an Employee-Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company, which means the employees own 53% of the business. The average time for employees to work there is 15 years and they have a lot of benefits provided to them. Solomon Colors continues to be a global leader in concrete pigments and great working culture.