Hurricane storm shutters are to be custom manufactured on the island, reducing the time it takes for orders to be fulfilled and shutters installed.
When it starts the service next month, Jeffrey & Sons believes it will be the first company in Bermuda to manufacture, sell and install storm shutters.
The business is on Cemetery Road, Pembroke, next to the former Bate’s showroom. It has been importing and installing shutters for more than 20 years.
“Now we are going to do the shutters here,” said Sabrina Franks, who handles marketing and customer service.
“The turnaround will be faster. Customers used to have to wait four to eight weeks for shutters to arrive. Now they will be able to get them in two weeks.”
Component parts of the aluminium shutters will be stocked by the business, ready to be cut to size and assembled to meet the requirements of customers.
To begin with the company will custom produce shutters for windows and doors up to 8ft. Larger sizes will continue to be imported ready-made.
“We are doing up to 8ft, which covers most bases. We will still bring in the bigger shutters.”
Manufacturing the larger shutter sizes on-island might happen in the future, depending on how things go and the level of demand.
Speed to market is a key benefit of custom-producing shutters in Bermuda.
Ms Franks explained that while some customers plan ahead many wait until hurricane season starts, or news that a storm is heading Bermuda’s way, before scrambling to have shutters fitted.
Being able to complete orders and installations in a week or two, rather than a month or more, will help meet the demands of last minute buyers.
“People will still get the good-quality shutters, and they will be supporting a Bermudian company and Bermudian jobs,” said Ms Franks.
“Jeffery & Sons has always tried to manufacture here as much as possible. We do window blinds and roller blinds for commercial and residential and we try to keep production here in Bermuda.”
Jeffrey & Sons was established in 1950, in Dockyard, by Frederick Jeffrey Snr. Initially it was a mill shop, later becoming a hardware business on Front Street, and then a custom blind manufacturing retail store near Shelly Bay, in Hamilton Parish.
For many years it was run by the late David Jeffrey, who introduced custom roll shades and exterior storm shutters.
“He started a lot of the local production and bringing in the storm shutters,” said Ms Franks.
The company also offers servicing and maintenance of its shutters and those installed by other businesses.
The business, which moved to Pembroke five years ago, is now run by Jonathan Gaugain, stepson of David Jeffrey.