Cook & Krupa was founded in 1962 and was located beneath the 59th Street Bridge in Long Island City before relocating to Long Island. Stuart Berger Construction was founded three years earlier in 1959.
The companies are based on Long Island, but rarely competed for business. More often, they collaborated on projects, each filling specialized roles. The complementary sets of services and expertise are the driving force behind the merger. “This is not a case of bringing two identical companies together just to form a bigger one,” said John Cook, co-owner of Cook & Krupa. “The power of this merger is that each company is expanding its capabilities through the alliance with the other,” Cook said.
Cook & Krupa has deep experience with general contracting and construction management while Stuart Berger has a long history of supplying pre-engineered steel buildings, particularly through a decades-long relationship with Butler Manufacturing. Stuart Berger also represents Metl-Span and Parkline product lines.
On the practical side, the merger gives the companies a larger and more robust sub-contractor base as well as a stronger financial capability. “Each company was successful individually,” said Bruce Forster, owner of Stuart Berger. “Together, we’ll be able to do even more.”
Companies will maintain separate identities
Company officials report that Stuart Berger staff will relocate to the offices of Cook & Krupa in Mineola, N.Y., but each company will continue to operate under its own name. “The name Stuart Berger was one of the most valuable assets when I acquired the business,” said Forster. “With 60 years of recognition and reputation in that name, it’s in our best interest to use it.”
An indicator of future success lies in the many common traits shared by the people who make up the companies. “We have a tremendous amount of respect for each other – professionally and personally,” Cook said. “We share a likeminded approach to customer relationships as well as high moral character, ethics, and integrity. That’s a strong place to start any new venture.”