Hello, my name is Jeff Cohen, and 30 years ago, I started One Stop myself. I enjoy chatting with people, learning their stories on life and hearing their experiences. In that spirit, here is my brief little story on how One Stop got started!
Throughout high school, I had worked full time in restaurants: Mayflower Seafood’s, the 1620, The Outside Inn, The Charlie Horse, and Tassy’s as my final job. This was my career throughout school and for a few years after, until one day Tassy’s was sold and for the 1st time in my life I was left without a job. . Had you asked me at the time, I would have told you that I was going to stay cooking forever because I loved the atmosphere, and the work ethics that I had gained while working at the 162 in particular would prove to be priceless, in retrospect!
These ethics I have carried into all aspects of my life. For example, one of the owners of the 1620 placed a set of rules on the mop room door- referred to as the mop room rules: Rule number 1- clutter is our enemy! Rule number 2, a clean kitchen is a happy kitchen. It’s funny how much we joked about them, but honest to God they followed me through life, and I use the phrases almost every day. If you ask my daughter Chelsey what a clean room is, the reply is always “a happy room”. She has grown up, moved out to start a family now with her husband, and I am proud to say her house is spotless! As a child however, her room was not always happy!
A few years after high school, I was thrown a curve ball. The restaurant I was working for, Tassy’s in Kingston, was sold. The first job I was able to find was painting for a gentleman we affectionately called “Moose” and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I should mention here that nobody in my family had much talent working with their hands. I remember vividly crying on my 7th birthday when my dad could not assemble my present (a pinball machine). I still look back and feel so bad that I cried that day. I seemed to take very well to working with my hands, and I had the same vigor in painting that I possessed in the restaurants.
In the kitchen, I started out washing dishes (I still jump into a loaded sink at parties to clean), and then moved to running the kitchen as sous chef/chef. I did it all from placing the orders, doing inventory, setting schedules, and making specials. I loved the pressure! Within the first few months working for Moose, I decided I wanted to start my own company. I would be the first in my family to do this, so I did not have the benefit of relatives to draw ideas from, or have a family business handed to me. I also had no money saved, and no established credit to speak of! I purchased my first company truck for $100 from a friend, when he purchased a new truck – I borrowed a few ladders to paint my first house, and off I went! I placed a line ad in a local newspaper (Old Colony Memorial) and lined up a few jobs via friends, word of mouth, and my new ad! I took the money from first job to purchase my own ladders and never looked back!
The next chapter in my life was many years of working alone, nights, weekends, and whatever I had to do. The drive to be the best gave me the motivation to expand my product knowledge and applications. Along with this new knowledge came my marketing skills, management skills, and customer and people skills. As time went by, I realized that I really loved what I was doing and this was it for me!Now another important event was happening as well. I had begun to hire painters, and I was lucky to hire in some very nice, and very good people. Some could paint, some I taught, and some taught me a few things as well. We all learned and grew together over the years. Some came, some went, and some would come back again, but the core stayed on to become my 1st foremen. We were learning, growing, adapting, and always improving our skills together. I finally got the brush out of my hand and picked up the pen full-time, which then turned to pen and key pad over time. Wasn’t it just yesterday the beeper came out? I was so happy I could be beeped; I would run to my truck and drive to a pay phone! Funny how fast times change!! We always embrace change here and try to stay ahead of it!
My little dream back in 1986 has developed a life of its own now. I always wanted to be known for my honesty, integrity, and good quality work throughout the area. I wanted to be like my peers and set an example for others to look up to, just as I had been doing to the painters already in their prime when I was just starting. I developed a logo, a fleet of trucks, a reputation of quality and honesty, and some of the best painters and friends anyone could ever hope for since then. I employ approximately 25 full time year round painters, provide them a safe work environment, the best tools and products available to us, health insurance, and a retirement package as well! Our management team has paid vacations and paid holidays. We have become known for our charitable work in the communities around us through the Jeff Cohen Charitable Foundation, and I feel we have become model corporate citizens.
I have also made some great friends and customers along the way! I have grown up in my company, become responsible, honorable, accountable, and reliable. I have been married (and sadly divorced) and adopted my wonderful daughter, Chelsey, who is simply incredible. She blessed me with my first grandson in 2016 and is an incredible mom!
I have two puggles (Pug & Beagle mix) Sammy and Chloe. Chloe was a rescue dog and they are inseparable! Sammy is named after Sammy Hagar, as Sammy and I are both big fans.
So now you know the basic story of my life and my company. If you made it this far, thanks for reading and I hope you have enjoyed our story! We are in our 30th year in business and I am just speechless thinking of all that has been accomplished by my company so far. To say that I am proud would be a vast understatement. I am blessed with the most incredible staff around me, Cherie my office manager has been here for 16 years now. Everybody in the social area knows who we are. Our clients include professional athletes, most of the members of my favorite band Aerosmith, we are at the Kennedy compound on a regular basis, we’ve worked on the state house, hospitals, schools and nursing homes. We have even painted train cars at Edaville railroad, which is interesting because that was my first job prior to restaurants- running the model T car ride at Edaville! Best of all, we have worked on so many incredibly nice people’s homes throughout the years, and throughout the South Shore. Our relationships with our customers last for years. We have been back to some homes almost every year for different projects, and we work for our customer’s children. I’m so thankful to everyone who has referred us along the way. If you made it this far, I truly appreciate your time and hope you will feel very comfortable in hiring my company.
A long time ago in 1986, One Stop started with a $100 pickup truck and a few borrowed ladders (Notice I painted my first truck myself, with Sherwin Williams DTM paint, a few brushes and a few friends!)
Our second vehicle, first van – 1988. (At least my drop cloths now stay drier!)
This is my third vehicle (1989), and I’m still searching for an identity!
Look, I have a logo now! (1990)
1620 When I worked there
After 1620 was remodeled. We painted it of course.
Here we are today!