Soep Painting Corporation
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Chuck McKenna
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Benjamin Soep, founder of Soep Painting Corporation (SPC), started a small painting operation in 1945 with less than a dime in his pocket. As a trained artist, Benjamin attracted attention from customers early on.
Benjamin had the skills as an applicator, sprayer, automotive finisher and furniture finisher; his peers encouraged him to build a business. Benjamin took the advice and began SPC with a heavy focus in the Boston market, performing high-end design projects for schools, theaters, hospitals and offices. The company eventually added specialty services with gold leaf work, metallic finishes and multi-color paint.
Benjamin’s son, Howard Soep, joined the business more than 40 years ago. Howard had a knack for industrial applications, and therefore, incorporated high-performance coatings, linings, epoxies and urethanes, as well as other specialty finishes into the company’s line of services. Today, Howard’s son, Matt Soep, has taken over the business. As third-generation owner and operator of SPC, Matt takes great pride in carrying on a family tradition of diverse painting and coating services.
“My father’s ability to include complicated industrial work in this business has really shaped the company,” Matt explains. “We are very different from other companies in the area. Most companies focus primarily on either commercial or industrial work. Our team has honed commercial and artistic applications, combined with industrial and specialty finishes. Now we can handle all aspects of painting and coating. We do commercial, industrial, tank linings and applications, coating removal and more. We are diversified when it comes to the painting profession.”
A diverse portfolio
SPC has the resources customers need to pull together complicated projects on tight schedules, including a full-time safety officer. With more than 100 union employees trained in a broad range of commercial and industrial applications, the company is large enough to distribute a powerful amount of manpower, while still small enough to make decisions quickly.
“We can dedicate resources to demanding jobs in the Boston market,” Matt explains. “Our customers need a lot of manpower, they need it quick and they need it for a short period of time. We have to be agile and it is important that we maintain the infrastructure and resources to handle these challenging schedules.”
The team recently completed work at the Vertex Pharmaceuticals building on Fan Pier in South Boston. The project involved several of the company’s areas of business, such as specialty finishes, epoxy finishes and matte layup systems.
“We already perform all of these services,” Matt explains. “If you call another company, they cannot cover all the bases. This was a perfect project for us. One of the most challenging aspects of the project was working in clean room spaces, which require applicators that have a stringent quality control program. This type of work leaves little room for error and the high epoxy systems are very tricky to deal with. We have people able to do it and we dedicated them to the project and had no problem.”
Other recent work includes high-end multifamily housing developments and hotels. SPC wrapped up work on the Loews Boston Hotel, as part of a major room renovation project. “We dedicate a large staff to room renovation projects at hotels,” Matt notes. “We rip the wall coverings off, then we sand, prep walls, paint and hang wall coverings before we are out the door. We can keep up with the quick turnover required for this type of work.”
Other recent projects include The Kensington, a new housing development at 665 Washington in Boston, which opened in October 2013. Another project at 120 Kingston Street helped to prepare a brand new luxury tower. The team also completed a quick turnover project painting and coating residential apartments for Wentworth students. Adhering to a tight schedule, SPC was able to complete the project in time for students to move in for fall.
Carrying on the tradition
The last few years have been good for SPC. Looking ahead, Matt is proud of the business his family has built and wants to continue to diversify the company in order to serve a growing market with differing needs. “My focus today, 70 years after my grandfather established the business, is to keep rolling with the specialty service groups,” Matt explains. “We want to continually be getting involved in new applications and services that present themselves while maintaining the commercial and industrial sides of our business.”
The family history of SPC is a great source of pride for Matt. As his leadership continues in the years to come, he is excited to grow and improve the company his grandfather started. “I really like that I can be involved in something that was here before I was even born,” he explains. “I could have done anything for a living, but I am proud to carry on the company’s legacy. Success to me is waking up on a Monday morning and being as excited to go to work as most people are leaving the office on a Friday night.” The kind of dedication Matt possesses is unusual in the industry, but Soep Painting Corporation has always done things a little differently.
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