Since he was a boy of 9, Alex Cruz, tinkered with electronics and built his own furniture.
Now Cruz, 31, has used his seasoned hands to open Kitchens and Baths by Precision, a showroom and installation company, with Leslie and Paul Joseph, in Port Washington.
Although Cruz has only been a contractor for eight years, the Josephs, who have been in or around the business for 33 years, were impressed by his work, and decided to open a showroom with him.
“When I saw the work that Alex does, he’s actually done work in our home, and the quality … I just thought this was a great opportunity to have a one-stop shop,” Leslie Joseph said.
Cruz, who immigrated from El Salvador at the age of 13, began working at the age of 14. As a contractor’s assistant he was able to learn a lot just by asking questions and observing.
“Basically, I just carried the plates around, and I had special tasks to watch what they were doing,” Cruz said. “Some guys would let me look and some guys would push me away but that’s just how it went.”
In El Salvador, there were not many tools to work with so he had to learn to be resourceful and creative, Cruz said. “It’s not like here, if I need a tool, I can just go and buy it. You need to work with whatever’s around you, most of the time basically by hand,” he said.
Located at 1A Manorhaven Blvd., on the corner of Shore Road, the company strives to alleviate the dissatisfaction consumers have of the business, Paul Joseph, the manager, said.
“We are constantly repairing other people’s works, there are contractors that are not licensed, or did not do things correctly,” Paul Joseph said. “Contractors have a terrible reputation and we are trying to change that.”
“We get a lot of phone calls when it gets to kitchens and bathrooms where the previous contractor did some of the work and it turns out they didn’t do the right thing, so we go and do the right thing for the customer,” Cruz added.
These experiences motivated them to open a business where they can ensure that the customer is taken care of “from start to finish and on any other issues that occur later on,” Paul Joseph said, by having everything in one place.
Additionally, as contractors they had “always experienced delays working with other showrooms,” but now they can control the “purchasing and delivery to make sure everything will arrive on schedule,” Paul Joseph said.
The business had its grand opening on July 8 and currently has on display three full kitchens, two full bathrooms and 100 countertops and tiles, Paul Joseph said. If the business hours don’t suit consumers, appointments are available, he said.