Munger Construction provided general contractor and construction services for new and renovation work. Munger showcased a wide variety of talents including carpentry and framing, masonry, structural steel, roofing, internal trim and fit-out, and mechanical services. This challenging project was loaded with hi-tech elements including HVAC, mechanical, fire and safety. All construction occurred with little or no disruption to the retail business and its customers.
Bishop’s Orchards is a six-generation family business started in 1871. A unique suite of offerings includes a bakery and kitchen specializing in pies and prepared meal solutions; produce from their 300-acre farm and from around the world; cheese and dairy products; flowers, gifts and fruit baskets; and Bishop’s Orchards Winery, which offers their own and other CT wines.
The Business Situation
Consistent growth, health trends and customer requests for additional product lines created a space shortage. “The situation bolstered our confidence to invest in an additional 7,220 square-feet for sales, office, bakery, kitchen, freezer, cooler, storage and common area requirements”, said Keith Bishop, Co-CEO.
To serve customers during normal hours without any business interruption for 5 months during construction. Costly upgrade of older buildings to the same fire and safety code levels as the new facilities. Retain the original rustic farm appeal by blending the renovation with the existing buildings. The design became a moving target because the older buildings revealed many implementation challenges that were not anticipated during earlier revisions. These became opportunities if acted upon quickly
Munger crews worked in the heart of the complex without interrupting customer activity or employee workflows. This included cutting the existing interior concrete slab and strapping the new addition to the foundation to meet wind load codes. Network and electrical upgrades were conducted during evenings. Munger carpenters built a unique 1-story octagonal shaped entrance with a wrap-around porch; and matched the existing interior by fitting pine paneling over the expanse of new wall for a look and feel “not like a commercial warehouse”. John A. Matthews Architects was able to cost effectively modify the design as Munger discovered unforeseen conditions during the construction phase. Munger diligently tracked time and materials in order to present accurate billing while continuing with the implementation.
A Relationship of Trust
“We have a high regard for Munger based on timely, quality work for each of the previous projects they have performed for our family business, stated Jonathan Bishop, Co-CEO.According to Keith Bishop, Co-CEO, “Once we received our preliminary design plans from John A. Matthews Architects, we went directly to Munger and asked them to structure a mutually beneficial arrangement. We did not seek a proposal from anyone else for this $2.5 million time and materials project.” “When the Bishops selected Munger to implement the design, I was very pleased because of the prior work we had done together on another project”, said Matthews project manager, Del Simmons. “A facility of this age and history presented the need for many necessary changes that required detailed pricing revisions as the project evolved”, stated Munger President David DeMaio. “Our financial solution provided the Bishop family with a fiscally sound approach to controlling unpredictable costs. Munger felt financially secure in developing a cost effective solution for each unforeseen condition that occurred. This sort of win-win negotiation can only be accomplished when there is a high level of trust between the parties”, said DeMaio.
The architect’s design was implemented without flaw. Entrance and exit traffic flows are very accommodating for customers. Efficiencies support higher sales volumes and employee productivity through spacious aisles for convenience and maneuverability; location of new freezer in bakery reduces distance traveled to retrieve products; new cooler with fill-from-behind keeps employees and products out of the aisles. Bishop’s image in the town of Guilford remained strong through a cooperative partnership with the deputy fire marshal, Paul Fazzino and the building inspector, George Gdovin. During preliminary review of the plans for the new renovated space, these code officials became an important part of the team, working together to address challenging fire and building code issues that would ensure safety through up-to-date 21st century facilities.“For a complex project that began in April, I am pleased that we were able to greet our fall harvest customers and have them wonder what’s different. They told us that it’s always looked this way” – Keith Bishop, Co-President, Bishop’s Orchards
Munger’s Multifaceted Role
After making the complex suitable for design analysis by entering all existing buildings and growth plans into their CAD system, John A. Matthews Architects discussed preliminary design ideas and generic pricing with the Bishop family. At this point, Munger was hired to provide construction services. “Having the owner / architect / contractor design team in place at this early stage
provided an advantage”, said Simmons. “Munger quickly helped us to enhance our preliminary design through simplified ideas and building techniques and opportunities for alternative materials.”As general contractor, Munger managed the project through all construction phases. This role required extremely detailed coordination and constant input from the architect, owner, town and Munger team (Steve Mansfield – Project Estimator, Michael Cormier – Project Manager, Roy Lamberton – Project Foreman, Jackie Cacace – Finance Manager, and Pam DeMaio – Project Secretary).
Construction Project Description
Munger staff and subcontractors performed all of the construction work required to bring this outstanding design to fruition. According to Munger Project Manager, Michael Cormier, “This complex project enabled Munger to showcase a breadth of construction talents including carpentry and framing, masonry, structural steel, roofing, internal trim and fit-out, and mechanical services. It was loaded with hi-tech elements [network, HVAC, mechanical, fire and safety].” In order to not compromise food quality and people safety, Munger completely separated its construction activities from the mercantile space by continuously erecting and moving temporary partitions. “We appreciate Munger’s professionalism and flexibility in providing valuable insight and pricing estimates along the path to a final design and formalized pricing approach”, said Simmons. “They were absolutely incredible in completing each milestone on time. What they accomplished was monumental”.
“Bishop’s Orchards has been using Pat Munger Construction for our building construction and renovation work for more than 20 years. Our extensive project list speaks to our status as a satisfied customer who has found Pat Munger Construction to be a reliable contractor with the ability to deliver a quality product, on time, on budget, and in the case of our retail facility, the ability to work under challenging conditions with minimal disruption to our business activities, while maintaining a safe, neat worksite. We have great trust and confidence in Munger Construction and look forward to future projects together.”