Although we’ve traced A-1 Builders back to 1928 (and it may have existed earlier), we refer to 1955 in our marketing as our founding date because this is when we became ‘A-1 Builders’ (for a more detailed early history, go HERE). Prior to 1955 we were named ‘Washington Builders’.
Based upon this ‘birth’ year of 1955, our 50th anniversary became 2005.
Approaching this half-century anniversary we gathered together as a company and asked ourselves this: how can we give back to this community? After all, it’s the citizens of this town that are responsible for our success.
After juggling multiple options we decided upon an idea the Community Food Coop approached us with in 2005: what about a large covered bicycle area for their co-workers and customers? Such a bikeport had been on their wish list for years. What was new was the possibility of avoiding all, or nearly all, of its cost!
The Coop and A-1 agreed in concept to explore the idea and the result is alive and well at their downtown store.
Then, to our surprise, the project led to an award: A-1 Builders and the Community Food Coop became co-recipients of the 2006 Great Feets Award. The award came from the Bellingham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee during Everybody Bike Month. The Coop’s May 11, 2006 Press Release says this…
A-1 Builders and the Community Food Co-op were recognized, according to the Advisory Committee, for “the beautiful custom-designed and -built bicycle parking facility constructed at the North Forest Street store. The prominent location and distinctive style of this bicycle rack make it an attractive invitation to all who see it that bicycle transportation is well supported at this store.”
“We’re honored to be recognized, but A-1 and owner Rick Dubrow deserve the credit,” remarks Co-op Marketing Manager Ginger Oppenheimer. “In 2005 we wanted to build an outdoor bike shelter to accommodate our employees’ and customers’ bikes and approached A-1 Builders about the project.”
Dubrow decided that in honor of A-1 Builders celebrating 50 years of business, he would like to give back to, and thank, the community. This project seemed ideal, because “…the Co-op is about community and very much in line with the nature of A-1— it’s a business with a triple bottom line like ours—concern for the environment and community as well as the financial bottom line.”
The “bikeport,” as it was dubbed, was erected in a day. Most impressive, Oppenheimer adds, “is the fact that all the labor and nearly all of the materials were donated. Rick Dubrow and A-1 are the true heroes.”
Other organizations that donated labor or materials were Bellingham Bay Builders, Carlson Steel, Builders Alliance, Duluth Timber, Topside Roofing, Dibble Engineering, and Cirrus Design.
“A-1 Builders is pleased to support a community-based business that’s also interested in supporting alternative transportation and green-building principles,” explains Dubrow. “Everyone on the project was exceedingly generous and thoughtful in contributing to a community project. This bikeport brings it all together.”
The advisory committee also recognized the Community Food Co-op and A-1 Builders for donating “support for Bike to Work and School Day for years. A-1 Builders has been active in support for avoiding sprawl and continuing to make our City a dense and walkable place.”