David Theriault (seated), along with his partner Jerry Velona (back left), started Elite Envelope & Graphics, Inc. in December of 2003. Since then, David has served as President and the company has enjoyed steady growth necessitating the recent purchase of its 25,000 square foot manufacturing and office complex in Randolph. David and Jerry are pictured with Tracie Theriault, VP and CFO.
When you outgrew your Braintree facility, what factors led you to choose Randolph?
Closeness to our original facility, so we could retain our workforce was a big factor, familiarity with the attributes of the town, and proximity to the major highways were all big factors.
What attributes did you look for in both a city and a facility?
As for the city, we were looking for somewhere close to the highways, a place where we felt we could have a voice in the business community, and a community which offered our employees a positive work environment. In a facility, we were not too worried about the inside of the facility, as we knew we could make that our own, but we wanted an attractive outside property. We were thrilled with our final location, on a great piece of land, across from a reservoir.
What other locations (if any) did you consider expanding to? Why?
We looked many places, with the final locations narrowed down to Braintree, Randolph, Avon, and Norwood. These all fit our needs from a shipping point of view, but the convenience of Randolph and the town’s interest in attracting the business were big factors.
How could the state have been more helpful during your expansion? Describe your interaction (if any) with the public sector.
The state was very helpful. We dealt with Annamarie Kersten’s office [The Massachusetts Office of Business Development], and she was a fabulous resource. I would like an easy “where to go” guide for help in various areas. I think there are a lot of resources out there of which we are not aware.
What advice can you give to other local manufacturers?
I would advise them to find their appropriate niche in their industry, and stay true to the core principles that helped them grow their business and find that niche.
What has helped you compete with larger manufacturers, especially those abroad?
Quality and service have really set us apart. I credit that to the skilled people we have in both manufacturing and client service. It is hard to find that in a large manufacturer, especially at a significant distance.
What would you say is special about a family owned and operated business?
It sounds cliché, but it really is special to know and care about all the employees, and their families. It really is one of the bright lights in the daily stresses that a job can bring.
What training or skills do look for in your employees?
We are really a team based operation, and we look for a willingness to help out in all areas. We are not interested in a “not my job” attitude. There is nothing at the company that I am not willing to roll up my sleeves and do, and I like to see that in our employees. Attention to detail is another skill we feel is very important.
Are there any tax incentives or programs to encourage manufacturing in Massachusetts?
There are tax incentives available, for training, new equipment, and R & D among others. It is a matter of finding what is appropriate for your company, and reach out to the state for information and help, they are there for that.
What value do your customers find in working with Elite or a local manufacturer? What has helped your company build its customer base?
Immediate answers, a quality product, convenience, and a quick turnaround are what our customers have come to expect. Word of mouth from satisfied customers has really been the single largest factor in building our customer base. It is very encouraging to know that people are just as likely to share a good experience as they are a bad one.
What is one misconception you once had about the business community in Massachusetts? How has your experience working at Elite Envelope changed that belief?
I had not been very involved, and was not aware that there was a real interest in working together, and helping other local companies. I have met some great people through my experience with Elite, from other business, local government and community, and on the state level.