This month we are pleased to feature Belle Plaine Block & Tile as part of our Meet a Precaster blog series. Answers were provided by Jennifer Shinehouse, president and CEO of Belle Plaine Block & Tile.
Don’t forget to check out all of our Meet a Precaster blog posts and if you’re an NPCA producer member and would like to be featured in a future Meet a Precaster post, please send an email to NPCA’s communication coordinator, Mason Nichols.
Q: Where are you located?
A: Belle Plaine Block & Tile is located in Belle Plaine, Minn., which is 45 miles southwest of Minneapolis.
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: Belle Plaine Block & Tile had its small town, humble beginning in 1954. The company was purchased by my father, J. William (Bill) Shinehouse in 1969. I began my career at Belle Plaine Block & Tile in 1992 and purchased the company from my father in the spring of 2011.
Q: How long have you been a member of NPCA?
A: We have been an NPCA member since 1976.
Q: Why did you join NPCA and what are the best benefits?
A: Although Belle Plaine Block & Tile joined NPCA long ago, I have personally participated with NPCA for more than 20 years. Networking with other precasters for support and the wealth of knowledge available are the greatest benefits of membership. Our company has also benefited from information acquired through various workshops and training seminars in many aspects pertaining to our industry. The exhibitor show has provided us with new product ideas and equipment updates. The benefits of participating in NPCA are vast!
Q: What products do you produce?
A: We manufacture single, double and triple compartment septic and pump tanks ranging from 500 to 3,000 gallons for residential applications. We also produce holding tanks, grease interceptors, sand traps, reclaim tanks for commercial industries and fuel containment vessels along with many other concrete items for varying applications. Belle Plaine Block & Tile also manufactures full and mid-size retaining wall landscape blocks.
Q: Have you introduced any new products lately?
A: We recently expanded our line of fuel containment vessels due to EPA requirements and to meet customer demand. We are versatile and continually update and add new products to our existing line as varying markets dictate.
Q: What are the top attributes of precast concrete?
A: The quick turnaround from pour to install is the top attribute of precast concrete products. Another top attribute is the long life and sustainability of the products we manufacture, even in the coldest of Minnesota winters. The fact that we are able to continue to manufacture products even when the weather takes a turn for the worse is a big plus.
Q: What have you seen in your area as far as recovery?
A: We have seen a slight increase in residential housing development and commercial markets over the past year.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: Plans for the future of Belle Plaine Block & Tile include the improvement of our existing products and the expansion of our product lines along with the possibility of extending to new markets by adding another facility elsewhere. We are currently updating equipment and purchasing new trucks to more efficiently get the job done.
The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the member, and not of NPCA or any of its employees.