Feb 5, 2021
Leadership Commerce City
The Deck Superstore
Deck building supply for pros and DIYs
- Decking, wide variety of low maintenance decking
- Railing, including steel, aluminum, and composite railing
- Architectural wood, including our own cedar pergola system
- Framing lumber, including StairLok, our own product for framing stairs
- Hardware, lights, accessories
“More enjoyable deck projects”
from concept to delivery
- Ballpark Estimator and other online tools
- Samples, mailed for free
- Indoor and outdoor showroom
- Variety of wood surfacing and other services from our Wood Shop
- Will-call and delivery to the Denver Metro Area
The most exciting, most valuable thing at The Deck Superstore is… our team.
We believe that providing meaningfully better customer experiences comes from excellence in the small things – from good execution. Good execution comes from good communication. And good communication comes from good team relationships.
For example, Jesse Rodriguez, sales
1930s – 1950s: Family of four in Derby
Harry B. Mitchell, Sr., with his wife, Flo, were raising their two boys, Harry Jr. (Mick) and Charles (Bud) in the Great Depression in Derby, Colorado (now Commerce City), looking for opportunity. During World War II, he found that opportunity working for the military at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in the carpentry shop. And he didn’t waste it. He studied carpentry both at the shop and on his own time to master his craft. After the war, he applied his training to build and sell houses in Commerce City. He trained and inspired his two sons to carry on in his trade.
An opportunity for one man to learn a trade transformed not only his life, but also the lives of his family, leading to this family business, now a 4th-generation Colorado company.
1950s: Mitchell Campers
In 1958, Harry and his sons began building pickup campers on the side, creating Mitchell Campers the following year.
1960s – 1970s: Riding the Wave
Greatest assets were the strong family unit, working as a team, each valuing each other, each doing whatever they were good at. The respect for each other extended to a strong connection with employees and customers. The cohesive family of four built a company together, and built an impressive company with over 100 employees.
1976: “Fire and Rain”
In 1976, several buildings burnt down. Thankfully no one was hurt, and Mitchell Campers received the support necessary to rebuild one larger 45,000 sq. ft. building to replace those that had burnt down.
1980s: Modular Homes
The late 1970s brought struggles in the economy and an oil embargo, and the demand for campers dropped sharply.
Using the company’s talents and capacity, they changed focus to building modular homes.
1990s: Come Back Story
The modular home business, which also extended into a duplex rentals, was not successful. In the early 1990s the company was facing bankruptcy and was forced to rent out most of the property and shrink in size.
But through frugality, innovation, and hard work, Steve Mitchell & others developed the Quickporch system, a componentized redwood deck kit system for mobile homes. Through Quickporch, the business came back to health and profitability.
In the late 1990s, the concept was born to sell a variety of deck building supplies to the general public – The Deck Superstore. Soon after the year 2000, The Deck Superstore grew into the entire property.
Doing business in Commerce City today
- Relatively central location for the greater Denver Metro Area
- Close to wholesale building product distributors
- Property with ~9 acres of land and 70,000 sq. ft. of inside space is a strategic advantage in the lumber business.
- Many deck building projects are in the far southern parts of the Denver Metro Area, which is a long drive for many of our customers.
- Sales tax 9.25% is one of the highest rates in Colorado, if not the country, which is more significant for high-ticket sales like building materials.
Advantages of Commerce City for Entrepreneurship
From my experience and opinion, I believe that there are distinct advantages growing up in working class community, especially for those who become business managers and entrepreneurs.
|Working-class communities||More affluent and/or white-collar communities|
|Value of work, especially trades||Overvaluing of education and undervaluing of physical work, especially trades|
|Taking risks, embracing trial-and-error||Avoiding risks|
|Standing out, creating differentiated value||Blending in, following existing formulas|
|Lack of access to capital, yet with resourcefulness||Access to capital, but not enough creativity|
From my position on the board of Adams 14 Education Foundation, I have seen over and over how immigrant families who struggle well inspire their children to succeed.
The history of Mitchell & Sons, Inc. is building businesses that value people.