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Living a dream

image L-R: Residential department associate Paul Guzman, owner Jerry Morales, accounting manager Maria Vides and general manager Daniel Aguilar

AUSTIN - One of the first things you notice when you walk into Alpha Glass Company is the “big beautiful saltwater fish tank.” The general manager Daniel Aguilar said it was his stepbrother’s childhood dream to have one.

 

 

 

 

 

    The story behind the glass starts with their father who has been a glazier for 45 years. Jerry Morales, the current owner of Alpha, picked up the trade from his stepdad at an early age. He became a second-generation glazier.
    Back in the late 1990s and mid 2000s, their father owned the company and it was named Alpha Glass Services. Just four years ago Morales decided to reopen as Alpha Glass Company. So, four years ago on a small budget between Morales and his wife they bought a small pick up truck. Morales started with small residential jobs. Eventually, he was able to get in contact with a couple of small commercial project managers.
    The first commercial project was somewhere around $5,000 total, which we know is significantly small in the commercial world. “To him he was on top of the world because the only time he would see a paycheck like that was from the income tax return when his kids were small,” honestly said Aguilar.
    Organically the business started to grow as they rented a small office off Bastrop HWY. As word of mouth spread and industry connections connected the business was thankfully able to get to where it is today.
    Now they are located off Burleson Road with a little over 20 employees. There are two teams: residential and commercial.
    Aguilar joined the family business at the beginning of 2016. Their father is on the team as their “senior commercial master (if you will).” Aguilar’s brother Edward is a junior estimator in the commercial department. Aguilar’s sister Maria is their head of accounting. His mother is a retired San Antonio Independent School District accountant, who comes in, helps and teaches his sister.
    Aguilar adds that several of their employees were his father’s employees when he had his business. 
    A company celebration they have is celebrating each other’s birthdays. Loretta Menchaca is in the commercial department and knows how to decorate when the time calls for it. “She will set up a photo section of props and things like that,” said Aguilar.
    Every now and then the company will host a lotería night. For those who haven’t played lotería, it is similar to bingo, just as addicting and a great way to pick up the Spanish language.
    This business and the people involved is an American dream for Morales. “One of the things that Jerry is proud of is our company to this day has been able to operate on a liquid funds basis,” said Aguilar.
    Aguilar sees that the next step for the company to continue evolving involves adopting business tactics to continue to grow. “Long term for us is to be able to grow enough where we can open a branch in San Antonio.”
    When looking at the glazier industry as a whole, Aguilar says they don’t see anyone as competition, but rather a skilled glazier because there are few qualified experienced glaziers. “It’s great that even a small company like us, somebody that literally started with $2000 and a little pick up truck and a dream, have been able to flourish in Austin’s economy.”
    Every now and then Morales will work from the conference room where he is able to view the big beautiful saltwater fish tank. A childhood dream, come true.
    Alpha Glass Company serves Austin and surrounding areas. –lv


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Lexie Velasquez lexie@constructionnews.net