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Side by Side

Siblings Joe, Katie, and Tia tackle third generation ownership while celebrating 50 years of the Capozza family business

When Joseph “Buddy” Capozza started a tile business in his garage in 1974, he couldn’t have imagined that three of his grandchildren would be leading the company fifty years later. For siblings Joe Capozza III, Katie Capozza, and Tia Green, the family business was simply a part of their upbringing, though not necessarily their destiny. “Our parents were big proponents of doing whatever we set our minds to,” Tia says. “My early career was aligned with the company, and I always thought if I was doing this for other people, I’d love to work and benefit the family.” Joe followed a similar pattern: he was working in commercial sales for a larger company when he realized his skills could be applied to the family business. When Katie joined Old Port Specialty Tile Co. (a division of Capozza Floor Covering Center) at age 20, she didn’t think she was going to stay more than a few years; almost 20 years later, she’s still at it.

Working together as siblings and business associates gives Joe, Katie, and Tia a unique perspective. “We have the same values, but we each bring unique strengths to the business,” explains Katie. The three co-owners benefit from a built-in sense of accountability and ownership. “I trust them implicitly, and I don’t think they’re ever doing something to advance themselves over everybody else,” says Tia. Of course, working with family has its challenges. “When you’re asked by your brother, sister, mother, or wife to do a business task, it’s not the same as being asked by someone who reports to you,” Joe explains. Fortunately, Tia chimes in, “We don’t take each other too seriously, and we have a lot of fun.” 

One key way the Capozza family business differs from corporate companies is the culture. “Nobody is a number here,” explains Joe. “We care about everybody that works with us, and we always try to do what’s best for our team,” he adds. Tia places an emphasis on the familial side of things: “If it’s important to our employees, it’s important to us,” she says. “If somebody wants to coach their kids’ sports team and they need a shorter day, of course—we want them to have that opportunity.”

Joe, who recently became chair of Maine’s Institute for Family-Owned Business, thinks his grandfather would be proud to see how the company has grown over the last half decade. “My grandfather started the business because he left another company and needed to support his family,” Joe explains. “When I consider all the people that work with us, whether they’re employees in-house or subcontractors that we partner with, it’s amazing to think that our business is their main source of income to provide for their own families. I think my grandfather would be proud that something he started kept us all together and has grown even bigger than the family.”

In recognition of Capozza's 50th anniversary this year, the team is planning a celebration event in the fall and asking key partners to donate to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, Capozza's longest standing philanthropic partnership (their first donation of $100 came from Buddy Capozza in 1995; they've raised over $323,000 to date). The company is committed to matching up to $25,000 for a total contribution of $50,000. “I think it says a lot about the family that they’ve grown and reshaped the business over three generations, and instead of celebrating their accomplishments, the first thing they did is choose to donate to a community cause,” says Theresa Rosmus, who has been with Capozza for 20 years. “It speaks to who they are, not just who they want to be. Compassion was very important to the man who started this company, and the third generation is showing up for the community. It speaks volumes, and it shows what this family is about.”

If it’s important to our employees, it’s important to us.

It's grown even bigger than the family.

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