The Maas Brothers Powder Coating Origin Story
Once upon a time there were two brothers who grew up in Pleasanton, neither afraid of working hard nor getting their hands a little dirty.
Over time, Kevin and Kraig’s shared interest in backyard mud-piles gave way to dirt bikes, boating, and brother camping trips throughout the Delta.
Both started separate careers in the construction industry. They were good at their jobs, but they longed to build something bigger – for themselves and their families.
Two Brothers, One Big Leap of Faith
Neither remembers exactly who said what, or when they first hatched the plan to start a business together. But once it was on the table, both committed to the idea 100%.
They emptied savings accounts, cashed out 401K plans, and sold everything they could, including extra cars, go-carts, and prized dirt bikes.
In 1998, Kevin and Kraig bet it all on a leap of faith with no Plan B.
The money made it possible to buy starter equipment and rent their first shop – a 9000 SF space not too far from our current 70,000+ SF Livermore facility. But what about customers?
They laugh about it now, but those first years were rough.
Says Kevin: “People thought we were crazy to open in Livermore. You look around us now and we are surrounded by other businesses. 25 years ago, there was nothing here. We thought that would be good for us, being the first ones here – less competition.”
The brothers were right about Livermore, but it took more time than they hoped to prove it.
Pounding the pavement. Knocking on doors. Working the phones. In that first year, Kevin and Kraig were literally in company survival mode.
Priority one wasn’t just finding customers willing to take a chance on them. It was building a rock-solid reputation for delivering on their promises so they’d earn not only repeat business, but also referrals. A key take-away from their earlier construction experience.
Says Kraig: “Even when we had enough work to hire employees, we didn’t have the money to pay them. So, we worked all the time. We skipped lunch. We were determined to make our business a success.”
Celebrating 25 Years in Business: 1998 - 2023
As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are proud of where that determination has taken us. But it would be wishful thinking to say that, after those early start-up days, it was all clear skies, success assured.
If you own your own business, you know there are always ups and downs – and necessary risks.
You don’t grow from a two-man batch shop to become the Bay Area’s largest independently-owned industrial powder coater without taking multiple leaps of faith where failure isn’t really an option.
“You can’t succeed if you stand still,” Kevin says.
Today, Maas Brothers is investing heavily for future growth.
Meanwhile, Kevin and Kraig remain active owner-operators, still unafraid of hard work or getting their hands a little dirty. All while protecting Maas Brothers’ most valuable asset: Keeping our word