Our Local Heroes for the month of December, Jeff & Rick Scott, were born and bred in the big city of Alma, Ontario. Alma is located about half an hour northwest of Guelph, just beyond Elora and Fergus. It’s a tightknit community of about 600 people and the Scott brothers (and their family) have been a mainstay of the town for a long time.
The Scott Family & Lloyd Scott Enterprises
Based on the brothers’ estimations, the Scott family has raised 5 or 6 generations in Alma. They came for the farmland and started out as dairy farmers. Their father began the family business in the 1960s. Over the winter, Lloyd would build kitchen cupboards in the basement of his home for the neighbours, when there wasn’t as much going on.
By ‘69, he’d realized he had to get bigger or get out of the dairy business. Since he didn’t like being a dairy farmer as much as he liked building things, he decided to switch his focus. A friend mentioned a new product (at the time) called aluminum siding and Lloyd thought he would give it a try — and so Lloyd Scott Enterprises was born.
Both brothers worked on job sites from a very young age, helping out their father. Rick and Jeff were two years apart and finished school at roughly the same time (around 1979), immediately going to work full-time in the family business.
“It was in our blood.” Jeff explained. “You do fall into some things in life, and it was a natural progression for us to do this.
Over the years, all of Jeff and Rick’s boys have spent summers working with their grandpa. Jeff’s oldest son is still quite involved, and so is Rick’s son-in-law. Lloyd himself is seen ‘pretty well daily’. The 80 year old remains in good health and is more than happy to lend a hand.
“Looking back, it’s quite a satisfying feeling to know we worked with our dad for so long.” Rick reflects. “It’s something we take for granted, but many families can’t say they’ve had that same bonding experience.”
“I get jollies out of building things,” Jeff adds. “Looking back, I couldn’t have ever picked a career that I would’ve liked more. It fits my makeup really well.”
The Evolution of the Business
After 47 years of history, Lloyd Scott Enterprises has changed considerably — although their focus on integrity and quality remains the same. Siding is a smaller part of their
business. Jeff focuses on new kitchen cabinets and vanities, while Rick concentrates on windows and doors as his mainstay. Together, they split the demands of daily operations.
The team at Lloyd Scott Enterprises is a key part of their organization as well, many of whom have been with the brothers for over 10-15 years — some as long as 30. “We have an outstanding staff that we don’t take for granted,” Jeff tells me, seriously.
The brothers ventured into the cabinetry re-facing space in the 1980s as well. After their supplier went out of business in 1990, they began manufacturing their own products to offer better quality control. That was a turning point, when the business began to really grow. Currently, Lloyd Scott Enterprises is one of the longest-running cabinetry re-facing companies in Ontario.
The Community of Alma
“If you’re going to live in a small community for decades, centuries even, you’ve got to get involved,” Jeff explains when we ask him about ‘community involvement’. “If there is an event going on and help is required, either financially or physically, then you just dig in and do it. Alma is 600 people, but it’s amazing what happens in this town — and it’s all off the back of the community.”
Community is clearly another thing that’s ‘in the blood’ of the Scott brothers. Their father Lloyd was the founder of the local Optimist club, which was chartered in the early to mid 70’s, and their business continues to sponsor local ball clubs, churches and the famous Alma Plunger Toss.
“The Plunger Toss started as a tin can bonspiel, then turned into this,” Jeff explains, when we ask about the tradition. “You basically put a toilet in the middle of a curling circle and toss plungers at it from each end. The goal is to get the plunger in the toilet.”
The game’s scoring works was similarly to curling and it’s very popular in the Alma area. People will line up in the wee hours of the morning to sign up. This unique event has become quite renowned, with people coming from far afield to play — you can watch video of a past year’s event below:
Partnership with The Ostic Group
“It’s the people around you who bring you up,” Jeff tells us.
Back in the day, the Scotts worked with Waind Insurance, which was run by Hugh Waind and his son Tom. When the organization merged with The Ostic Group, Jeff & Rick followed them. For them, it was the people that mattered — not the organization. And the people stayed the same.
“Tom’s dad was an incredibly community-minded person,” Rick remembers. “He would give anyone the shirt off his back. That’s why we were with him.”
The brothers had also gone to school with Jamie Ostic and, over the years, they have built a strong relationship with him and the rest of the team too. They still canoe with Tom in the fall and get together to play curling — or do the occasional Plunger Toss.
But it’s for their deep sense of family & community values — not their skill at tossing a Plunger — that we’ve selected Jeff & Rick Scott as our Local Heroes for the month of December! We hope you’ll see why 🙂
To learn more about the Ostic Group, you can contact us here.