For nearly 110 years, L.E. Schwartz has been putting roofs over people’s heads.
Nicole Butler shows us how this business survived and played a part in Making Macon.
In 1910, Hungarian immigrant L.E. Schwartz came to Macon in search of the ‘American Dream.’
"When he came to this country, he never got over the fact that he could be anything he wanted to be and nobody was going to knock on the door and say you can't do this," said current CEO Melvin Kruger.
Being a steel metal worker by trade, L.E. Schwartz & Son was born.
Getting to work, Schwartz owned a motorcycle with a soldering pot on the back.
"It was a very small business for quite a long time, but he always tried to do the right thing every day and that has helped grow the business," Kruger said.
A look at L.E. Schwartz & Son's history
Now, Kruger is the third generation to enter the business and he says seeing his grandfather’s business live on is a dream come true.
"To be where it is today and to see my son come into the business to share this opportunity with him and now my grandson is the greatest joy of my life," he said.
Melvin's grandson Michael Kruger is the fifth generation working at Schwartz.
He says he doesn’t get any special treatment.
"I was on the roof doing hard labor. It was tough. I had to work my way down off the roof into the office," Michael said.
He's helping his grandfather and father build up Schwartz City, adding to the map of influential projects they've had over the years.
That includes restoration of the Hay House, parts of the Macon Coliseum, and Robins Air Force Base.
Michael’s father Steve says gaining the community's trust helps them to continue Making Macon.
"You do the roof well, people stay dry, and that's one of the important things we stand for," Steve said.
The Kruger’s say a big part of their success are their loyal employees. Some of them have been working there for more than 40 years.