In 1975, an idea turned into an opportunity. Steve Scaturro was studying to be an Engineer at NJIT College while his older brother Ben Scaturro had just started out as a full-time physical education teacher. To help pay his tuition, Steve acquired a part-time job as a superintendent at the Garden Apartments, where he resided. His responsibility was to hire different contractors and to oversee the maintenance of the building. This included finding a contractor to paint the apartments after someone moved out. As a 20-year-old college student, seeing the amount of money the painters were making, Steve saw a bright opportunity for him and his brother. To make a few extra dollars he and Ben started painting the Garden Apartments themselves.
With each apartment they became more skilled and more efficient. The two decided it would be smart to venture out of the apartment building and began painting residential projects during summer break and around the holidays. Ben and Steve increased their client base and provided multiple services in addition to painting including installing roofs, small additions, paving driveways, and doing anything they could to get ahead. “We did the best at painting; we made the most money, we were most effective, and got the best reviews from our customers” Steve said, “I remember the first apartment Ben and I painted, we completed it in a day and a half; the following year, we could paint three apartments in one day.” And so it began, at the end of 1975 Ben and Steve partnered up to incorporate Scaturro Bros. Inc.
In 1978, Steve graduated from NJIT with a BS in Construction Technology Engineering. He went full-time into painting with a 4-5 man crew while Ben was still teaching full-time and painting only part-time. With limited resources and a small team, Ben and Steve had to manage with what they had. Steve’s first office was a walk-in closet in his Garden Apartment where he built a homemade desk where the shelves once were. The two eventually upgraded to their first shop, operated out of their parent’s two-car garage.
In the beginning of 1979, Ben left teaching to pursue growing their painting business full time. Although both still painting, Ben’s main role was running the crew and equipment while Steve’s main role was to create the business systems and handle the financials. Both were wearing multiple hats within the company. In 1980, Ben and Steve began focusing on finding commercial and light industrial painting projects. The bulk of their jobs were shut-down manufacturing work. When the factories would close for holidays, they would go in and paint the facility. At the beginning they started both painting in the same crew and then saw the benefit of splitting their leadership skills into two separate crews to tackle more work and increase their footprint.
In 1981, Scaturro Bros added the trade name Alpine Painting and Sandblasting Contractors. From the start, both Ben and Steve were very interested in the technical aspect of painting. As a college grad with an engineering degree, Steve felt that communicating with engineers came a lot easier to him than dealing with the typical homeowner on residential projects. Ben and Steve joined painter trade organizations such as the PDCA and SSPC. They wanted to better educate themselves with the newest paint technology/equipment and grow their business through learning from other successful painting contractors across the nation.
Around the early 1980s, Ben and Steve slowly expanded their crew size to 15, focusing on larger projects.They both stepped out of painting themselves and into a sales and management role. Their jobs became strictly commercial and industrial which meant targeting manufacturing plants, warehouses, schools and sandblasting/painting water tanks. In 1985, Ben and Steve purchased their first building on Thomas Street in Paterson, NJ, approximately a 1,000 sq ft office and 3,000 sq ft shop. Five years later, in 1990, they upgraded to Alpine’s present building on Florida Avenue in Paterson, NJ, with a 3,000 sq ft office and 8,000 sq ft warehouse. The new warehouse space was able to house our existing equipment and incorporate a blast barn and industrial spray booth for in-house painting. By this time Ben and Steve were working with a 35-45 man, full-time, crew with 2 full-time employees working in the office.
The two owners still had a passion for building and construction. So in 1985 they purchased empty lots to build their homes. The process went so smoothly that they ended up purchasing several other lots in the Wayne and Kinnelon areas and building custom homes for other families. Residential development evolved into building commercial/industrial spaces such as the Lyndhurst/Ridgewood Libraries, Hackettstown Fish Hatchery and Towaco Firehouse. To this day our company still provides construction services to provide added value to our existing customers.
From 1993 to 1995, Ben’s three sons, Sam, Dave, and Ben Jr. began working part-time for Alpine, organizing the warehouse paint shop, sweeping floors and learning the painting trade from the ground up. They worked on summer breaks, holidays, and sometimes weekends. Although the three sons pushed their Father to put them on field projects, Ben strongly believed that the three should be educated, learn the skills of the painting trade and understand the different coating systems for each substrate before pursuing work in the field. After two years in the shop the boys were finally awarded the opportunity to work as apprentices in the field. They quickly climbed the ranks from journeyman, foreman to eventually project manager. Ben and Steve both knew that if the three brothers wanted to excel in this business they would have to learn each aspect of the company position by position. Ben did not want his sons entering into the company full-time after high school. Secondary education was far too important to be looked over. Both generations agreed that a college degree would assist to bring new light to the company and help Alpine grow to the next level.
By 1999 the company continued to expand; Ben and Steve purchased a separate yard to store Alpine’s equipment nearby to their existing warehouse. As the company grew externally, internally this was an exciting time for Alpine. Ben’s three sons were beginning their careers with the family business signifying new blood with bright horizons. As each of the boys was groomed into the company they used their college education to add value into their new roles. “The best way to grow was to pick an area within the company, make it your own; Make it great,” said Steve Scaturro. The second generation evaluated and reassessed the current company actions to ensure that our process for estimating, craftsman operation procedures, management etc.. was working. The updated processes were documented in a written system and implemented throughout the ranks. Dave Scaturro said, “We need to collect the last 25 years of experience, knowledge and wisdom from my Father and Uncle and put it in writing. A detailed system/process can be duplicated from person to person and generation to generation.“
In 2000, Ben’s oldest son, Sam, graduated from Rutgers University with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering and became a full-time Project Manager/Estimator at Alpine. With an engineering background, Sam changed the whole technical path of the company and rigorously began obtaining certifications and training in SSPC, PDCA, NACE and OSHA. His focus was to ensure the safety of our craftsmen and to develop deep relationships with large industrial clients in the private and public sector. With Sam’s fresh perspective he incorporated new technology and techniques to make our projects more efficient to bring better value to our customers.
In 2002, Dave, also graduated from Rutgers University with a BS in Labor Relations and Business Management, entered into the family business with Sales & Marketing and eventually took the Director Role within the company. With the goal to shine the very best light on Alpine, Dave updated the company’s website and took the marketing program to an entirely higher level. He became the backbone of the human resources department, hiring a sales, estimating, project management and support team that are passionate about what they do. Dave believes that “when you enjoy what you do, you are going to be good at what you do.” He has been very keen on creating a positive work environment and comfortable company culture for Alpine, where employees (even those without the name Scaturro) feel like family.
In 2005, Ben Jr., graduated from Penn State University with a BS in Economics and like his brothers, began full-time at Alpine. His career began as Project Manager and focusing on building the companies shop facility. He created a stream lined process for blasting and coating in-house construction equipment, structural steel, communications and pressure vessels. Ben Jr.’s new focus is on Estimating and Managing Industrial Projects and providing value engineering to complete them efficiently and safely. With all three sons aboard, Alpine’s second generation was ready to build upon the values and customs of an already flourishing company.
In 2007, Alpine officially became PDCA (Painting & Decorating Contractors of America) Accredited by completing all necessary technical coating courses and submitting all of the essential business documents. From years 2008 to 2016, Alpine has won awards for both Impressive Projects and Maintaining an excellent safety record. SSPC, PDCA and ABC recognize Alpine for our commitment to safety in the workplace. Another honor received by Alpine includes the numerous PDCA National PIPP Award for Excellence in Painting for industrial and commercial painting projects.
In 2012, Alpine officially became a QP1, QP2 & QP9 certified member of the SSPC(Society for Protective Coatings). This is another step towards maintaining the highest and latest level of quality standards, putting Alpine a step ahead of competitors and forging themselves as one of the largest and most qualified painting contractors on the East Coast.
From two brothers painting apartments with a closet-space office to 20 office employees and over a hundred field workers with a 10,750 sq ft headquarters, Alpine is proud of how far it’s come. The current business staff consists of operations, engineering, estimating, quality control, safety, sales, marketing and customer service with a team Alpine could only dream of. Employees are constantly being cultivated and trained to go above and beyond customer needs and to provide the very best service. With a flattering customer return rate, Alpine is gratified to have loyal employees and customers who make the company what it has become today.