Breaking into business in Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Two lifelong friends have teamed up to open a branch of National Glass LLC., a company that has already found tremendous success in Franklin, Smithfield, Emporia, as well as Ahoskie, N.C.

Rick Martin, the owner and president of National Glass, said he and his friend Kenny Kinsey are opening a store and showroom at the old Starr Motors location; 2425-A Pruden Boulevard. The grand opening is set for Oct. 15.

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Martin has been doing business in Franklin for six years and when the opportunity came to open a store in Suffolk, he and Kinsey were finally able to get together in business.

&uot;I was raised here and attended Suffolk High and my grandmother, Audrey Martin, owned Joe’s Barbecue over near Pinner Street,&uot; said Martin. &uot;Kenny’s family owned Kinsey Electric, which was located on Pinner Street, so he grew up in the family business and later worked at other companies. This is the first chance we’ve had to get together through National Glass, and we are looking forward to a successful Suffolk store.&uot;

Kinsey said he learned about the business world through working with his dad, the late Robert Kinsey.

&uot;I began working with dad when I was 10 or 11 years old, and then when I got old enough to work, I started with the old Rose’s store,&uot; Kinsey added. &uot;Then, I went to Gurley Press. At one point I was part owner of that business. I went into the glass business 28 years ago, and I’ve been involved in it ever since.&uot;

Kinsey teamed up with Martin about one year ago and, according to Martin, they both know the glass business inside out.

&uot;We feel we can be of excellent service to the people of Suffolk as well as those we continue to serve in our other locations,&uot; said Martin. &uot;Our vision for the next 15 years includes expanding across Virginia and North Carolina. This Suffolk location is next on what we hope will become a chain of National Glass stores. We are not a franchise business, and we believe that by being hometown proud we will provide our customers with superior quality glass services. We do commercial store fronts, door repairs, auto glass, custom mirrors, vinyl replacement windows, and shower enclosures just to name a few of the services we offer.&uot;

In fact, National Glass is a full service glass company and they also replace headliners in vehicles, hollow metal doors in homes, custom and commercial wood doors, storm window screens and glass, Plexi-glass, and they have the hardware for just about everything they service and sell.

National Glass will even go to the customer’s home, business or auto to for services. They also file insurance claims saving customers the trouble of filling out those long forms and phone calls. The company specializes in luxury and foreign cars and they have more than 60 cumulative years of glass experience.

&uot;All our staff is friendly and courteous to do business with,&uot; said Martin. &uot;And, our glass technicians have a Master’s Certificate from the National Glass Association. We look forward to helping our Suffolk friends and to meeting new friends as they require our services. We are only as good as our people and at National Glass each staff member is a pro who will service your job with the utmost care and concern. We want your business and we’d like your repeat business so we strive to make our work for you as pleasant as possible.&uot;

Kinsey and his son, Brian, will be operating the Suffolk National Glass store, said they are both excited about serving the people of Suffolk.

&uot;We wanted to bring the quality and service that National Glass provides its customers to the people who are our friends and neighbors,&uot; said Kinsey. &uot;Up to now, all National Glass customers were willing to drive to Franklin for service because of the superior quality of the work they do. Now, with our Suffolk location right on one of the city’s main thoroughfares, they can obtain that same excellence in service and materials right there on Pruden Boulevard.&uot;

For more information about National Glass, call 539-6511, or call their toll free number at 888-683-0100, or the Franklin store at 562-7733. You may also visit their Web site at