FONDA – Nearly five decades ago, Charles E. (Chuck) Wright and Christopher M. Watson made news when they left their jobs in Schenectady, and looked to start their own company, in Canajoharie. In 1975, Wright and Watson took their experiences from the chemical company that they were employed by and set out to found a new, first-of-its-kind, powder finishing facility that was expected to revolutionize the industry.
Wright and Watson provided the W’s for the new company – WW Custom Clad, Inc., as they were partners, and at the time, the only employees, along with just one spray gun and one spray booth that were housed at the former Canajoharie Cooperative Milk plant, off Mill Street.
To recognize its commitment to the community and decades of long-lasting hard work, WW Custom Clad, Inc., has been named Montgomery County’s April Small Business of the Month by County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort and the Montgomery County Business Development Center.
“Montgomery County is home to a strong number of family businesses and WW Custom Clad, Inc., is a fine example of that. In the past 50 years, they have grown from two employees to nearly 40, and had great success along the way. In addition to their achievements, they’ve been deeply committed to giving back to the community, shown time and again by their contributions to local charities and organizations,” Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort said.
In 2011, Christopher Watson bought out his founding partner, due to age and health, and became the sole owner of WW Custom Clad, Inc. The company has continued to prosper for the better part of five decades. Mr. Watson recently passed away, on Nov. 15, 2020, 45 years to the day that the company was founded, back on Nov. 15, 1975. Now, the family-run company is fully owned by his wife, Peggy Watson, while their grandson, Jake Baxter, has stepped into an executive role.
“Our employees are such an integral part of operations,” Peggy Watson said. “We have 39 employees, most of whom have been with us for 25 years, many longer. We work together as a family. We know each other and care for each other and our families. Everyone has their own special knowledge of their department and piece of the business and that is what keeps Custom Clad going so strong.”
Over the years, WW Custom Clad, Inc., has done business with many well-known companies, including General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Gillette, and Knoll Furniture. During the pandemic, WW Custom Clad, Inc., was an integral part of coating the air purification boxes in hospitals for Aero-Med of Amsterdam.
“WW Custom Clad, Inc., is a terrific success story. Locating as a start-up in Montgomery County and being able to grow to their current size shows that they have been able to put together the building blocks of success and a strong business acumen. They are another of our county’s businesses that have pivoted during this pandemic and provided a public service, while also benefitting the company overall,” Montgomery County Business Development CEO Ken Rose said.
To request information about a job, contact WW Custom Clad, Inc., for a free, no obligation quote by phone (518) 673-3322, by emailing Valerie Montanye at email@example.com or by visiting their website at www.wwcustomclad.com.
The small business of the month initiative recognizes local Montgomery County businesses that are making a difference in the community. Anyone wishing to nominate a deserving small business for recognition next month should contact the Montgomery County Business Development Center at 518-853-8334 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief note about the positive impact the company is making on the community. Nominations can also be submitted by sharing a post and tagging the business on the Business Development Center’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Below is a picture from the Courier Standard Enterprise, in 1975, when WW Custom Clad, Inc., first opened its doors in Canajoharie (photo provided by Peggy Watson).