Local business owner Thom Baker seeks to leave Columbia a gift when he retires. Tucked away in his equipment-lain home office, Thom Baker of...
We started Grove Construction on June 17, 2009, and have now been in business for three years.
There have been several hurdles since beginning Grove Construction. This is a tough economy, and we have worked hard to succeed. The largest hurdle I have overcome, however, has been to separate my company, beliefs and values from the company my father worked for and was part owner in for 36 years.
I was always around it; at home my family was always remodeling, and I was always going to work and riding around in the truck with my dad at a very young age. When I was old enough, when most kids were at camp or the swimming pool, I was working.
My family has been in construction for three generations. I wanted to have a company run exactly the way I wished to do things. I felt I was at a good point in my life because I had field experience and a degree in construction management to match after graduating. I wanted to offer a good product at a fair price.
We mainly do commercial and industrial construction: anything from metal buildings, such as Salter Lawn Service; to restaurants, such as Chim’s Thai Kitchen; to apartments, such as the Lofts on Broadway.
I think the biggest advantage is the fact that at the age of 26, I have a good yet small company started, and now I have the rest of my life to grow it. The hardest part of business is to start it. I feel like the Grove Construction name is starting to get around town, and people realize that we are here to stay.
Downtown is a wonderful and historic place. It is amazing to take an old, dilapidated building and change it within the walls to something modern and beautiful.
Land prices move up and down, but I just love the feeling of having something tangible; watching the stock market every day makes me want to pull my hair out. I feel with real estate, I have control and can keep a closer eye on my investment.
They increase the living body count, increase the tax base and make The District look active. I love it.
Reputation is everything. If your company is not trusted and professional, it will never last.
Downtown Chicago. I love the city, and it’s still in this region.