Bella Vie Kitchen and Bath
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Maggie McPherson
- Estimated reading time: 3 mins
The Fontecchio family has been involved in the plumbing industry since 1978, when John Fontecchio III. established Johnny’s Plumbing & Hydronics in Cañon City, Colorado. His son, John Fontecchio IV, became involved in the family business in his early teens, assisting on projects and maintenance through high school before leaving for college in 1988. He returned to the family business in the 1994 and a few years later launched Bella Vie Kitchen and Bath as a wholesale company providing decorative plumbing and hardware, cabinets, countertops, appliances and fireplaces.
“When the market was down in the ’80s, my family decided to build vertical integration into our company structure,” explains the younger Fontecchio. “It started locally in 1998 and served our own plumbing business as well as others in our area. In 2007, when the economy entered another downturn, we decided to focus more of our efforts on promoting the wholesale side of the business. We spent a lot of time developing our strategy and honing in on some of our key accounts.”
Meeting the needs of the market
Over the years, the company has experienced steady growth. Bella Vie now has two locations – one in downtown Denver and the other in Cañon City, Colorado. In Denver, the team operates a hybrid showroom, combining decorative plumbing hardware with cabinets, countertops, appliances and fireplaces. The Cañon City location serves as the business’ hub, with warehousing, contractor services and back-of-house staff who serve both the sales end and the family’s plumbing company.
Bella Vie employs 14 people between both locations including a range of sales specialists and installers. While the sales end offers a diverse selection, Fontecchio says that it is his staff that sets the business apart from competitors. “We have great relationships with our manufacturers and we do not take on every line on the market,” he explains. “Our goal is to provide products and the expertise to go with them, so our associates know more about the lines we do offer than other suppliers.”
These partnerships with manufacturers also help the business maintain efficiency through managing inventory and controlling costs. With a broad but controlled inventory, Bella Vie carries only high-end products in order to cater to a specific target market. In the high-expense world of sales, this allows the company to save cash flow for training staff and supplementing shipping costs, passing more value along to customers.
Putting value to work
Aside from select, quality inventory and a knowledgeable staff, Bella Vie also provides customers with connections to reputable installation contractors. “We do some of our own plumbing installation and we also have partners who perform that as well as cabinet, appliance, countertop and fireplace professionals,” says Fontecchio.
This high level of service – from concept to completion – attracts clientele from all over the Western Hemisphere. “While we started operating locally, our business has grown to an international scale. We have projects throughout the United States, including Tribeca in New York, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Palm Springs, California,” explains Fontecchio. “We recently loaded up a container to send to the West Indies.”
The company’s recent work in the West Indies includes one of Bella Vie’s more high-profile jobs. Fontecchio and his team are supplying high-end products for the Four Seasons Resort Estates, including components for the private residences on the premises. Another unique undertaking has been a growing market in the high-end residential sector. “We are supplying fixtures, cabinets, countertops and fireplaces for some beautiful residences,” he adds.
Fontecchio and his colleagues take great pride in their work and enjoy what they do. “I love being involved with these projects,” he says. “It is a really rewarding experience to see each of them develop and come together.” From start to finish, Bella Vie delivers quality products and the installation expertise to meet demanding schedules in high-end locations.
Over the coming years, the business is on a strong trajectory of growth. While Fontecchio does not foresee any explosive expansion, he and his team continue to build and maintain relationships with both commercial and residential clients, including end-users, property managers and contractors. “We see more high-end residential work coming up over the next few months,” he explains. “We are moving more into the vertical, multifamily market as well.”
With a knowledgeable staff, strong partnerships with manufacturers and a knack for building lasting relationships, Bella Vie Kitchen and Bath continues to serve as a reliable partner for contractors and end-users in Colorado and beyond.
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