Updated: October 30, 2019 10:32 PM
Created: October 30, 2019 10:10 PM
BERGEN, N.Y. (WHEC) — At Liberty Pumps, they call themselves the innovative pump company. Founded in 1965, the Bergen-based business manufactures and sells wastewater pumps for residential and industrial use.
"How I like to think about it as a tight-knit, well-functioning community where people really care not only about each other, they care deeply about the work they do and we obviously care about our customers," company President Robyn Brookhart said.
Liberty is a family and employee-owned business. Brookhart's father, Charlie Cook, is the CEO. Cook ran the company for 40 years before turning the day to day operations over to his daughter last year.
Brett Davidsen: Did you ever expect to see the company grow to this level?
Charlie Cook: "No. No. When I joined the company there were seven of us."
Now with 255 employees, they churn out almost 400,000 sewage and sump pumps a year which are sold through distributors. In their factory, the cast iron bases are machined using the latest automated technology. They are then assembled and tested before being shipped out to customers around the world.
Brett Davidsen: How do you make wastewater pumps sexy?
Charlie Cook: "You know, believe it or not, that is a factor and you wouldn't think so because this pump is going to be installed and nobody's probably ever going to see it again. But there is something to be said for the appearance of your product."
So all the pumps are powder coated before they're packaged.
"I think we also really do a great job of anticipating the needs of the market," Brookhart added.
That means building on their long line of products. The evolution of the wastewater pump has included adding switches, removable cords, and grinders to them.
"It'll pump anything. You can throw a leather glove in there and it'll chop it up and pump it," Cook said of the grinder pumps.
A more recent innovation includes the Night Eye alarm system.
"So we have a mobile app that they can download and it will tell them if their pump is working or if it has stopped working, and it can also detect -- if you have a basement that freezes -- it can also send an alarm if the temperature reaches a certain point or the electricity goes out," Brookhart said.
Staying ahead of the curve seems to be the recipe for success. Liberty Pumps continues to grow every year in sales and is routinely listed among the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. In 2015, they added on to their facility -- doubling its size to 250,000 square feet.
"The expansion has allowed us to continue our growth, to put up additional warehouse space, additional manufacturing space, grow our product lines and ship more product out the door," Brookhart said.
Perhaps what brings Brookhart and Cook the most pride is the company culture at Liberty Pumps. They talk about it a lot.
Brett Davidsen: What is the culture?
Charlie Cook: "A place where people really feel free to contribute because everybody comes here with some previous life experience and work experience."
With a strong brand and attention to customer service and innovation, Cook says he expects to see continued growth.
"We're better than anybody else in the industry at those kinds of things."
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