Northeast Times

Upholstery biz expands into Somerton

  • Upgrade: J&J Seat Cover Co. Inc. president Ed Sacco points to photos in the company’s expanded space at 2180 Hornig Road in Somerton. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTOS

  • Upgrade: J&J Seat Cover Co. Inc. president Ed Sacco points to photos in the company’s expanded space at 2180 Hornig Road in Somerton. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTOS

  • The new digs are 22,000 square feet, much of which is manufacturing and woodworking space. The company focuses on commercial, automotive and medical products. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTOS

J&J Seat Cov­er Co. Inc. spe­cial­izes in up­hol­stery, and com­pany pres­id­ent Ed Sacco said there’s great po­ten­tial in the in­dustry.

“Any­where you look, there’s up­hol­stery,” he said. “Our busi­ness is end­less.”

Joseph Sacco, Ed’s dad, star­ted the com­pany in the mid-1960s with a part­ner named Joe. He’s been re­tired for more than 20 years.

Today, Ed Sacco shares own­er­ship with broth­ers Jim and Robert. They kept the name J&J, in part, to hon­or their mom, Jean.

About a month ago, the al­most half-cen­tury-old com­pany took a gi­ant step for­ward, open­ing in big­ger space at 2180 Horn­ig Road in Somer­ton.

“We were grow­ing out of the spaces we had, and we wanted to stream­line costs. We wanted to be­come more ef­fi­cient. There is a lot of run­ning back and forth with two fa­cil­it­ies,” Ed Sacco said. “We’ve ex­pan­ded over the last 15 to 20 years. We’ve had con­sist­ent growth the last three, four years.”

J&J closed a 7,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity at 2150 Comly Road. The com­pany still has, at least for now, a 12,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity at 4901 Levick St. that man­u­fac­tures auto­mot­ive products.

The new digs are 22,000 square feet, much of which is man­u­fac­tur­ing and wood­work­ing space.

The com­pany fo­cuses on com­mer­cial, auto­mot­ive and med­ic­al products.

“We do all as­pects of up­hol­stery. Any type of up­hol­stery is ba­sic­ally our busi­ness,” Sacco said.

Com­mer­cial cli­ents in­clude the Sug­ar­House and Val­ley Forge casino re­sorts.

Med­ic­al cli­ents in­clude doc­tors’ of­fices, hos­pit­als and nurs­ing homes.

Joseph Sacco star­ted the com­pany with a fo­cus on auto­mot­ive. Today, J&J deals with body shops, used-car lots and auto­mobile deal­er­ships, with a spe­cialty in con­vert­ible tops.

“Auto­mot­ive is the hard­est end of up­hol­stery. It’s the most com­plic­ated,” Ed Sacco ex­plained. “It’s a lot more de­tailed. It makes the rest of it (seem) easy.”

Next week, the com­pany wel­comes com­mer­cial cus­tom­ers and oth­ers to an open house at the new Horn­ig Road fa­cil­ity. The site will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Aug. 12-16.

The of­fice has pic­tures on the walls of some of the com­pany’s products, in­clud­ing daybeds for par­ents of pa­tients at Chil­dren’s Hos­pit­al of Phil­adelphia and donor beds for Amer­ic­an Red Cross blood drives.

Oth­er fa­mil­i­ar places that con­tain J&J crafts­man­ship in­clude the Hos­pit­al of the Uni­versity of Pennsylvania; well-known eat­er­ies Mag­gia­no’s Little Italy, Mor­ton’s: The Steak­house, Mc­Cormick & Schmick’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Cap­it­al Grille; and sports ven­ues Lin­coln Fin­an­cial Field, Cit­izens Bank Park and the Wells Fargo Cen­ter.

The com­pany suc­ceeds, Sacco said, be­cause of its em­ploy­ees and ma­chinery. There are 18 work­ers who need a vari­ety of skills.

“It’s a little bit in­volved,” he said. “We do such a wide range of things. Everything changes from day to day, and the em­ploy­ees go from job to job.”

One key piece of ma­chinery is the Weeke Wood Cut­ting Ma­chine CNC Router.

An­oth­er is the Auto­met­rix Cut­ting Sys­tem. A Ben­s­alem dis­play com­pany needed Ot­to­man’s, and J&J cre­ated and pho­to­graphed a pat­tern be­fore the ma­chine cut the wood pat­tern.

“They in­crease cap­ab­il­it­ies and make it a more ef­fi­cient pro­cess,” Sacco said of the equip­ment.

Sacco got his start as a 14-year-old stu­dent at Arch­bish­op Ry­an. He re­called leav­ing school early one day to go to the old Pot­amkin Chev­ro­let, at Grant and Academy Roads, where he helped pro­duce 28 vinyl tops.

Vinyl tops have gen­er­ally been phased out, but J&J has found plenty of oth­er ways to serve cus­tom­ers’ needs.

“For most up­hol­stery shops, it’s a dy­ing trade,” Sacco said. “But in my opin­ion, for us, it’s the ser­vice we try to provide and the cap­ab­il­it­ies of our ma­chines. We’re geared to ser­vice so we don’t in­ter­rupt our cus­tom­ers’ busi­ness.” ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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