Andy and Susan Haynes, owners and operators of Haynes Service Company, LLC, recently celebrated 25 years in business. They said upon the occasion of the silver anniversary that they’re proud to be local examples of an accomplished husband and wife business partnership.
The Bedford County natives said Haynes Service Company in Unionville only continues to grow, with the support of family, friends, employees and customers.
Many people around the community have known them for years. That shows as they’re greeted by passers-by in Unionville.
They’re locals. Andy and Susan attended Community School, dated after high school, married and then reared their 3 children in the Unionville area.
The Hayneses said recently that they found no need to move away to start their new life, as some did from their generation.
Little did they know in the 1990s that they’d soon be putting their heads together to come up with a business plan—one which would take them into two-plus decades. Now they have a company that continues to grow and support their family.
While sitting in their spacious office conference room, the two recently recalled how they first opened Haynes Service Company in March 1997 at 150 Molder Lane, which was then their home address.
By the start of the new millennium in 2000, their book of “satisfied” customers necessitated an expansion, so they built a shop and office at their new home on Unionville-Deason Road, where they operated the next 16 years.
In 2016, they relocated to their current, larger site, right off U.S. 41A North and Unionville-Deason Road (near their alma mater Community School) Andy said this expansion enabled them to bring in more advanced equipment and “broaden their service offerings.”
They believe they’ve accomplished those goals set over 20 years ago. They now function with over 40 employees, i.e., family and friends.
Andy believes he’s built the company on hard work and honesty.
The business flourishes
Haynes Service Co. specializes in much more than heating and cooling. The company offers general contracting for commercial, industrial and residential, project management, machinery installation, maintenance, welding fabrication, HVAC installation, service and repair, electrical, plumbing and concrete services.
“The thing about our business . . . you don’t necessarily have to depend on people to come to you,” said Susan. “You can reach out to other counties; you can go after the work, if need be.”
“It isn’t just dependent on just brick and mortar,” added Andy.
Andy and Susan have also purchased a couple of grocery stores over the years. In 2010, they purchased Jr’s Foodland in Murfreesboro, which they still own and operate. Andy’s sister, Beth, serves as manager and they have about 30 employees now.
Susan notes how grocery prices went up during COVID-19. That caused a lot of consumer ill-will and hoarding, which sadly forced them to have to adjust to supply and demand and market increases.
Susan enjoys the grocery store, but still has management responsibilities at Haynes Service Co. She praises her sister-in-law for successful management of Jr’s.
With all they have to manage, they’re both thankful for their past learning experiences at public jobs. Susan worked in banking about 10 years after high school, before assuming her responsibilities at the family company.
Andy first worked for RN Wilson Contractor, where he was involved in plumbing and electrical work. He then worked for a Murfreesboro boat company—a place which allowed him the opportunity to gain some leadership experience.
Fact is, neither contemplated opening a business in their younger years. “At the time, we did not know we were going to be opening a business . . . . We both feel like God put us there and gave us those skills and knowledge to be able to run our own business. And it was in His timing.”
Business in challenging times
Andy and Susan have always believed it was their responsibility to see to the needs of their customers. Sadly, prices have had to increase over the years, advised Andy. That’s made his job as business owner more difficult at times.
“I don’t like to go up,” he advised.
For example, wiring used in building homes back in 1997 was 9 cents a foot and now it’s 60 cents a foot. It’s gone up six times what it use to be. A piece of sheet metal to do the duct work was $10 back then, now it’s $50. So it’s gone up five times.”
He said market fluctuations are nothing new. He used the price of fuel—something his company uses a lot of—and even bread prices as an example. He gets the letters in the mail, which tell him how dry wall is increasing in cost by 6 percent and lumber, by 30 percent.
The local business owner said in the end, the consumer price increases must be passed along to the consumer. They pull out hand-written invoices from years past. There was one for $30 in 1997 for a service call.
“The cost of service has gone up with the cost of living,” said Andy.
In today’s market, Andy can estimate the cost to build a house, but the cost could go up 30 percent in 10 days. Susan adds that prices of materials remains unstable.
“I can’t do cost estimate anymore, due to the nature of what’s happened the last couple years,” said Andy.
But they’ve made it for over two decades with careful management. Even during COVID-19, they masked up and served their communities.
“Through all the COVID shut-downs, we happened to have two businesses that were very much needed,” said Susan. “We didn’t shut down a single day, in either business.”
“The hardest part of my job right now is finding qualified help,” said Andy. “It isn’t just help, but qualified help.”
He remembers how they struggled in 2008-2009, when the economic recession hit. Susan agreed.
“It took a while to overcome it. We’ve come back stronger than when we started.”
Andy said they provided residential and commercial plumbing, electrical and HVAC. “In ’08 and ’09, when the economy got so bad, we either were going to have to go out of business or diversify. We chose to diversify.”
That proved to be a wise move for the Haynes family.
Marriage + family + business
“It takes both of us to make it work,” said Andy.
There are skills learned from family too. Andy followed in his dad, Jimmy’s, footsteps, learning trades, like home electrical wiring.
Susan added, “Andy is one of those people who’s good at whatever he does.”
And that’s a good thing certainly, as a lot of people have depended on them over the years. They never forget their employees, they said.
Through the lean times, they helped their employees keep their jobs. “We figured out how to keep all of them . . . not lay anyone off. They needed their money, just like we did.”
Andy adds, “We treat them like family.”
They are truly thankful, they said, for their long-time friends, Tracy and Susan Leverette, who have overseen the HVAC department since 1999.
They instill, they said, The Golden Rule, at Haynes Service Co., along with honesty and hard work. “We were determined to be successful early on,” said Andy. “I wasn’t willing to accept failure.”
The rest is history.