The Yale Story
Yale has been around since 1923. I am sure of that. I grew up believing my Grandfather Sam started Yale back then. At a recent family event, I learned my Grandfather bought into the company in 1932 for the princely sum of $3500. America was in The Great Depression back then, and $3500 was all he had. So in a way I like this story better.
Much of my Grandfathers’ spirit still is part of the company. He just loved people. He was a great storyteller and would always have a few contractors laughing every morning.
He also took the long view. People were relationships, not transactions to him. I never heard him say no to anything reasonable. A lot of our view on service really started with Grandfather Sam. He was a good guy as well. He worked to bring his 6 brothers and sister to America from Poland. Then they all put their youngest through medical school and all started businesses as well.
Grandfather Sam Sheinkopf: "It's only a transaction until someone is happy. Then it's a relationship."
Let's Start This Relationship
The abandoned building that would become the Dorchester store
Back then, the store was on Portland Street, which became city hall. Then it was relocated to Canal Street, near The Garden until 1984.
My dad took over after my grandfather. I really don’t know when. We don’t really pass the baton officially. It just kind of happens.
My father is the most analytical of all of us and the most visionary.
We measured what would become our Dorchester store on the coldest day in 1983.
At that time Dorchester wasn’t the best place to be. Now of course is a different story.
I have been here for approximately 47 years, give or take. I cleaned light fixtures and appliances, then moved my way into the warehouse.
Then sales, then operations, then service, and then marketing and a few other areas.
Only this isn’t a singular type of place anymore. It's more about the people who you will interact with on a daily basis in sales, customer service, the delivery guys, and installers.
Young Steve in the showroom
Bob Sheinkopf seeing potential in the mess
All have to be good. Not just a sales department.
As my Grandfather wisely observed: it's only a transaction until someone is happy. Then it’s a relationship.
I am an awful marketer. So it’s way better to have you happy than to market ourselves to you (even if I could).
Many good companies will tell you about their customer service. However, customer service has to be an investment.
In other words, you will never be happy unless the process is tightly controlled through sales, delivery, install, and then service by a single store.
You won’t be happy if I damage your floors even if you have a great sales experience.
You will not appreciate being told to call a 1-800 number after spending money on your new kitchen.
Service is not a buzzword for us. Our biggest department by far is service.
Out of the 180 people working at Yale, over half are in service.
Appliances aren’t easy, by the way. What we promise is to make it easier and correct mistakes quickly when they happen.
There have been 47 recessions since 1923 and we survived them all by being serious about our people, our community, and you.
The Yale team helped build a house for Habitat for Humanity
The Yale Foundation
We believe strongly in giving back to the local community and have huge shoes to fill from both generations.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Foundation for MetroWest
I am not saying this because I sit on the board. However, if you live in the Metrowest, these people probably have supported your charity.
Stop Handgun Violence
This is an unusual group of gun owners who want common sense reform. I have been on their board for 20 years.
Pine Street Inn
I love this group. They take in homeless people and teach them a trade so they become productive. When you hear stories from the residents of how their lives are turned around, it's pretty emotional.
Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition
Mark Porter is a customer of ours and a cancer survivor. He established a non-profit to help cancer survivors with bills.
Veterans Legal Services
This organization provides veterans with free legal support. Our veterans are not treated well after risking their lives for our country. The two ladies in charge have made it their mission to help (love those two)
Boston Bullpen Project
A couple of high school friends of mine retired to give money away to those in need.
Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children
If there is a disease that needs to be cured, Duchenne is the one. It is a genetic disorder slowly robbing your child of muscular function. My friend has twin boys with this disease and has fought a great fight. We are thrilled to help.
Have a good local 501C3 charity?
Tell us about your charity and we’ll take a look.
SUGGEST A CHARITY
Sustainability is at the core of how we operate. Our goal is Net Zero.
Every old appliance, packing and material is responsibly recycled.
Framingham is solar power and will be 96% energy efficient by the end of 2020. Hanover will be fitted for a solar roof by the end of 2020.
Dorchester is a bit tougher for solar. We have an Ice Bear to handle the AC. It cools our system by ice. We will also be looking at solar solutions as well as Green roof options.