Caplan Bros. Glass
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Victor Martins
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
When Louis Caplan established Caplan Bros. Glass (Caplan) with brothers Ben, Aaron, Sol and Meyer in 1926, the commercial and residential glass company was founded on a simple principle: fast, reliable service. “My grandfather started the company about 87 years ago,” shares Mayer Gerstein, now co-owner of Caplan. “From the beginning, he built the business on service. That’s what we do and that’s who we are at our core, because when it’s freezing, snowing, raining or the opposite, when hot air is coming in, our customers need a response and they need it fast.”
The Maryland-based, fourth-generation family-owned and -operated company continues Louis’ legacy, living up to its reputation for dependable service. “I’ve been in this business for most of my life,” reveals Mayer. “I started working for my grandfather in 1978.”
Today, Mayer and his family run Caplan from its home base in Baltimore. “We mainly stay in central Maryland, but we’ll go east to the Delaware line, west to Frederick, north to Pennsylvania and south of Annapolis,” Mayer notes.
While Louis established Caplan early on as the area’s leading window glass replacement provider in central Maryland, the company has since diversified its services. “We perform residential and commercial glass construction and replacement,” shares Mayer. “We do more commercial work than residential, but we can do anything in glass – from entranceways to mirrors and showers – the only sector we don’t go into is automobile glass.”
Service above All Else
Caplan understands the importance of a rapid response. “We offer 24/7 emergency service and same-day or next-day door repair or glass installation,” reveals Mayer. “There aren’t too many companies out there who can deliver that. We keep a lot of glass and door parts in-stock on our floor and that allows us to have the fast installation and delivery that gives us the edge on the competition.”
Caplan also responds quickly to repairs by keeping the majority of services in-house. “From new glass construction and installation to commercial door repairs and glass replacement, we perform nearly 100 percent of our emergency work from our extensive stock,” adds Mayer. “We own our scaffolding, swinging stage and lifts to better serve our customers.”
No matter the application, façade or building, Caplan will be there to deliver. “We work on shopping centers, office buildings, mall fronts and even high-rise buildings,” notes Mayer. “Whatever the job is, we’ll be there.”
Caplan’s commercial abilities range from glass replacement to aluminum door repair, bullet resistant glazing, glass hand rails, car damage and break-ins, curtain walls and slope glazing, commercial ventilating windows, mirrors, desktops and conference table tops, wholesale sheets and cases and much more. “We have a commercial department dedicated to remodeling entrances, as well,” details Mayer. “We fabricate and install new and remodeled storefronts, vestibules and office building glass. We have a separate division for new construction and large-scale renovation throughout the Baltimore to Washington, D.C., corridor.”
On the residential side, Caplan installs broken window panes, patio door glass, storm windows, mirrors, glass-tinting and shower enclosures. The company even provides a do-it-yourself pickup counter in-store. “This method is the best way to repair the broken glass in your removable sash or storm window, pick up a mirror or glass top or find that hard-to-get part for a commercial entrance door,” conveys Mayer.
Worth While at the End of the Day
However, even with a wide range of services and a longstanding reputation, Caplan has seen its share of recent challenges as a result of the recession. “We’ve managed to keep all of our employees busy and working,” reveals Mayer. “We’ve been more financially conservative than in the past, but I’m optimistically cautious about the situation improving.”
Mayer is quick to note that the industry is not what it always has been. “With the construction industry these days, it’s a challenge to keep everyone busy,” he continues. “But when you help a customer, whether it’s a new install, replacement job or a new shower or mirror, if we put a smile on their face then it’s all worth it. That’s what we try to come away with on every job. We’re here to help people and that’s our mentality.”
Mayer projects Caplan will pull through what he hopes to be the final stages of the downturn. “I hope to expand our markets while working from our present location,” he continues. “We’re mainly focusing on solidifying our position in the local area and integrating the fourth generation of ownership.”
Since 1926, the family-owned company has established its legacy on prompt, high-quality glass service. With the fourth generation’s years of experience and commitment, Caplan Bros. Glass will continue to put people first, remaining true to its founding principles.
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