If you’ve ever admired the facades of some of Glastonbury’s notable commercial buildings, you’ve probably seen the Awning Place’s handiwork.
The brown canopies over the front entrance of Daybreak Coffee Roasters on Main Street, the eye-catching red window awnings at Katz Hardware and the large retractable patio awning at Giovanni’s Pizza on Hebron Avenue are just a few of the many places that feature shade systems by the Awning Place.
Robert Beaulieu started the family-owned business about 35 years ago and today his company’s expertise and artistry are evident all over the region, in both residential and commercial settings.
The Giovanni Pizza project by Awning Place is a particular point of pride for Bob because it included the installation of a motorized roof and side panels on the restaurant’s patio and allows Giovanni’s to utilize the outdoor space year-round. "It’s an impressive product because you don’t lose your patio on a rainy day, and on a windy days you have side panels shielding patrons”.
A Vietnam-era veteran, Bob started his company in Glastonbury in the mid-1980s after moving here. As a home remodeler, he branched out into installing awnings after several homeowners would ask how best to provide shade over the new decks he installed on their homes - "We love the deck, but it's just too hot!"
The Awning Place was the first company to bring retractable arm awning systems into the Hartford area and they were so popular that in February of 1988 the company shifted focus to concentrate primarily on residential deck awnings. Today, Awning Place Inc., is headquartered at 273 Eastern Blvd in Glastonbury and has offices in Cheshire and Clinton. Family owned and operated, Bob’s wife, Doris works in the Glastonbury and Cheshire offices and his brother, Ronn, works out of Glastonbury and handles all the installations. His son, Adam, also works in Glastonbury and handles all the marketing. Their nephew, Scott, works as the main sales person out of the Clinton office, handling all shoreline customers.
Bob takes pride in his company’s deep roots here and the personal service he and his employees provide its customers.
“We will never sell an awning over the phone, we always come out and meet with our clients in-person, ensuring the awning is a perfect fit. We find out what they want and expect from an awning and if we can meet their needs, however if we feel they should not spend money on an awning, we will tell them that.”
Shading systems, he said, provide a lot more than aesthetics to a building. They can reduce energy costs significantly by blocking sunlight. In fact, a 2009 Department of Energy study found a 40-60 percent reduction in cooling costs on New England homes equipped with awnings on the west and south-facing windows. They extend the usability of outdoor spaces, sometimes for year-round use, and they provide a signage and branding component for commercial customers.
“We deal in shade, and we’re great at it,” is a company motto and the firm sells awnings, canopies and solar shades that come in more than 200 fabric choices. They oversee the entire project on site from design to installation.
For more information visit awningplace.com or call 860-659-2925.