This article original appeared in Precast Today’s Q2 2023 edition.
By Joe Frollo
Situated on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard midway between Boston and Cape Cod, Mass., Scituate Concrete Products is a third-generation, family-owned company that takes pride in doing the little things right.
And that results in big opportunities to help reshape Massachusetts’ infrastructure, piers and other projects up and down the coastline.
With NPCA-certified facilities in Scituate and Marshfield, along with one in Pembroke, Justin Hoffman, Craig Hoffman and Andrew
Nashawaty lead a team who create and sell a wide selection of manufactured concrete products that serve both commercial and residential purposes.
With one eye on the needs of today and another focused squarely on innovation, the company has built its reputation and client list on a sense of community. Scituate employees live in the communities where they work, so they ensure that the job is done right to serve not just their own families but future generations as well.
Starting simple in septic
Founded by William “Moose” Hoffman in 1959, the company that came to be known as Scituate Concrete Products began with Moose operating a backhoe to install septic systems in rural areas of Eastern Massachusetts.
As is the case when many small business stories get started, Moose looked to expand his services but was not happy with the supply chains and lead times open to him. He solved that by soon producing his own concrete pipes.
“He did so well that it got to the point where he decided to get out of the contracting business and get into production full time,” Justin Hoffman said. “He saw that there was a need that was not being filled – between the quantity and the quality. So he filled it.”
Backed by loans from a bank and a relative, it was not long before Moose supplied concrete pipes and related products to construction companies throughout New England.
As Moose’s sons, Richard and William Jr., came of age, they also took on prominent roles in the company, leading an expansion in which Scituate acquired other concrete companies in Massachusetts – one of those being the Marshfield facility previously operated by Nashawaty’s family.
As the company grew, the product line also expanded. Once focused on pipes, by the 1990s, Scituate manufactured box culverts, vaults, curbs, sanitary products, retaining walls, drainage systems, septic tanks and more. Today, Scituate offers more than 20 major product lines.
Still, the crux of Scituate Concrete Products comes back to Moose and his vision.
“Our versatility has allowed us to take on a lot of different projects over the years, but it all comes back to our drainage products and custom structures,” Justin Hoffman said.
The new generation
In 2010, Justin and Craig Hoffman ascended to vice president roles, bringing the third generation into leadership. Justin and Craig are cousins. William Jr. is Justin’s father, and Richard is Craig’s father.
Nashawaty also has a precast heritage. He grew up in his father’s plant, then called Ray Precast in Marshfield.
Nashawaty was 5 when he attended his first NPCA National Convention alongside his parents, Richard and Judi.
“My father always said there was nowhere better to gain a national perspective on industry issues than with NPCA,” Nashawaty said. “Their pride in NPCA stuck with me, and their favorite part was the people.”
Nashawaty – like the Hoffmans – spent most weekends at the plant, operating forklifts long before he got his driver’s license. He learned by watching and eventually doing as a part-time employee during high school summers.
In 1997, Nashawaty came to work for Scituate Concrete Products, and now he, Justin Hoffman and Craig Hoffman are part of a leadership team bringing Scituate into a new era.
“I remember coming up to the plant on Saturday mornings and riding my Big Wheel around,” Nashawaty said. “All of these big, strong men went to my dad for direction, and I just admired that so much. I wanted to follow in his footsteps when I grew up.”
Work that lasts
Scituate Concrete Product prides itself on its ability to adapt to every job.
In 2016, Scituate was intricate in building an 18,360-square-foot T Wharf pier in Plymouth, Mass., that stands as a testament to the fishing and tourism industries.
A long, linear portion of the pier is comprised of six 60-by-2-by-3-foot solid precast beams, each of which weighs 55,000 pounds and was delivered by barge to the site.
The new pier is a boon to the area’s lobster and groundfish industries as well as a developing shellfish aquaculture. The new facility also includes amenities and services for visiting boaters and creates a more aesthetically pleasing waterfront for thousands of visitors each year.
At the time, it was the largest project that Scituate Concrete Products had taken on.
“To evolve as a company and as an industry, sometimes you have to push the limits,” said C.J. Scott, the Scituate production manager who oversaw the project.
Other projects for Scituate include:
- A solar array in Falmouth, Mass., that includes 1,280 units at 24 inches by 144 inches by 19 inches.
- York Street sewer improvements that include four custom sewer structures. The largest of these weighs 85,000 pounds and is 8 feet by 18 feet by 13 feet.
- 8-feet-by-10-feet tunnel tanks that can hold from 10,000 gallons to 100,000 gallons.
- Trap dock repairs in Chatham, Mass., where pile caps measured 28 inches by 24 inches by 43 feet.
Education is important
The key for any business is a shared vision that starts at the top. Nashawaty said he, Craig and Justin have just that.
“I couldn’t work for a better family or two better guys,” Nashawaty said. “Honestly, our families were pretty close-knit anyway since we were young, and we’ve all known each other well enough that we get along, keep the peace and keep moving the company forward in the right direction.”
The trio seek multiple points of view before coming to a consensus. Input could come from each other, other team leaders or anyone along the line who identifies an opportunity for improvement.’
Scott, as production manager, drives a lot of direction. Another is John Michael Bruno, an assistant production manager at the Marshfield location. A third is Chris Bonney, the sales coordinator.
All three were members of the 2023 Master Precaster class that received their diplomas in February at The Precast Show. They earned this distinction by completing a two-year course of study that included production, safety, technical, quality control and leadership.
Continuing education is a point of focus at Scituate, Nashawaty said.
“When I became general manager, one of the first things at the top of my list was educating employees,” Nashawaty said. “Justin really reinforces that as well. We talk a lot about investing in employees and recognizing the ones who put in the effort to make themselves more knowledgeable.”
Justin Hoffman said building a company’s human resources is not always something easily identifiable on a spread sheet, but it is important to invest time and money into personnel.
“It may not be billable hours, but it improves your company overall,” Justin said. “Re-investing in people is just as important as investing in equipment or software.”
This also is the mindset behind Nashawaty’s engagement with NPCA. He currently is a member of the Engineering and Technology
Committee, his sixth committee assignment in 15 years, including being chair of the QA/QC Committee in 2017-18.
“Ever since I first became involved with NPCA, beyond what I watched my parents do growing up, I realize how we share common values with other members, common questions and common concerns,” he said. “By offering a little time and opening up our minds to what’s going on across the country, we see just how important that fellowship and networking is.”
Justin Hoffman agrees.
“At our core, we are a family-owned business, so our core group of customers are like family to us,” Justin said. “When we work on their homes or in their neighborhoods, we take pride in it because we see ourselves there as well. Our business is about relationships, and taking the care that goes into each job is what keeps people coming back to us.”
Joe Frollo is the director of communications and public affairs at NPCA.