New business: Spruce Solutions finds the answer in Wayland
Business reopens with expanded product line, plans to grow
WAYLAND — A Wayland manufacturer is back at work, with plans to grow bigger than ever.
Spruce Solutions, LLC officially cut the ribbon on its new enterprise on State Route 21 in Wayland on Thursday. The business is no stranger to the area, though. Previously known as SWP before its sale about two years ago, the business was reacquired in June 2020 and has reopened under the new Spuce Solutions banner.
The business continues to produce deicing products, anti-icers and asphalt/gravel products out of its Wayland campus, which covers seven buildings.
“It’s quite a facility,” said President and CEO John Hooker, who founded the business with Carl Myers. “I think a lot of people drive by and just don’t know what it is. It’s a lot bigger than people realize.”
Many passerby might also be unaware of the cutting edge work performed by the Wayland business since its founding in 1993.
“We were pretty the much first in the treated salt, liquid salt field. It was kind of pioneered right here in little Wayland, New York,” said Hooker. “It’s more than just salt products. There’s a lot of liquids. Instead of granular salt, we’re heavy into liquid anti-icers. We have nine different blends.”
The business produces applications for a wide variety of uses, from large municipal highway departments down to residential driveways and sidewalks. Everything is manufactured, tested and packaged right at the Wayland facility, which includes a 1.8 million gallon tank storage farm, storage for 40,000 tons of salt, and a bagging facility.
The business currently has five full-time employees, four part-time employees and seven contract employees with hopes to expand.
“We’re at a very fast rate for the type of climate that we’ve been in,” Hooker said of impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New business offers new product lines
Spruce Solutions has returned with two new product lines targeted to the dairy and water/waste industries. The business has been working with local farms to develop its new products.
“We’re extremely excited. We think the area is a great area. You’ve got great people, especially going into agriculture,” said Hooker. “They’re unique, they are hardworking. I take my hat off to all the emergency responders and the police departments during COVID, but I also realized how important farmers are. Seven days a week through this whole thing they had to produce milk and take care of things. They couldn’t just shut down. A lot businesses could say stay home, don’t come into work, we’re going to close down. They couldn’t. We really feel that’s going to be a unique growth area for us with a great group of people.”
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Spruce Solutions is offering sanitizers for milking equipment and foot sanitizers for the cows.
“We’re developing a new winter de-icing because cows still slip like people do in the winter. That’s going to be a big one we’re looking at,” said Hooker. “Farmers are real hard workers, and when we stepped back we wanted to see what we could do to help the community and help employment growth. It’s the farming community, agriculture, where we feel we feel like we have a good future.”
The company is also expanding into waste treatment at municipal facilities.
“That’s something that’s new to us we’re just getting into,” said Hooker. “We have been working and contracting with a major company working with us on that. That’s a specialty product.”
Expanding into retail, trucking
The new and improved Spruce Solutions operation will include a retail store at the State Route 21 headquarters. The goal is to offer customers more guidance on what products will best fit their needs.
“It will be for education and people can stop in and by one bag or a pallet, but we want to educate people on the anti-icing products, the different grades and different methods,” said Hooker. “From my standpoint a lot of people walk in the store and see six different types of de-icers, We’re going to have an on site store and training center. Senior citizens could come in and find out what should we be buying for our sidewalks or for our brick walks, or our pavement. A lot of it is educating people.”
In addition to local customers, Spruce Solutions ships products across the northeast. The company is planning to expand its trucking operation “in all areas” with an eye on future growth.
“We’re building a fleet for transportation. Not only ours, but we would help out other people. We would hire out to carry some of their products they have,” said Hooker.
“We’re back and we’re really excited. We really think it’s going to grow, especially with the people we have to work with, our employees and the customer base.”
Chris Potter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChrisPotter413. To get unlimited access to the latest news, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.