Business remains strong for local concrete block manufacturer
ZENDA — Lakes Brick & Block, a concrete block production facility and masonry supply house, has had its fair share of changes since its foundation, but its mission remains the same.
“We are a family-owned business for almost 100 years that strives to supply consumers with top-quality and competitively priced product that will last them years, and in some instances a lifetime,” Mark Polyock, tri-owner and general manager of Lakes Brick & Block said.
The business has had three generations of family ownership, a few name changes and gradual expansion since Jacob Polyock founded it in 1914.
Originally, the business's primary source of revenue was the concrete block made onsite. Gradually, the business added an assortment of other masonry supplies to its inventory.
One expansion of product and regional reach came in 1998 when Polyock sold his company, then known as Polyock Brick and Block Company, to Janesville Brick.
With the combining of resources, Janesville Brick was able to expand its concrete block market while Polyock Brick and Block Company expanded its inventory to incorporate clay brick, and eventually stone.
“This gave us an ability to produce our own concrete block and broaden market share and expand our territory,” Dan Kelly, vice president of Janesville Brick said.
Today, manufactured stone, clay brick and paving brick and other masonry supplies bring in nearly half of Lakes Brick & Block's revenue. Concrete block makes up the other half.
On 10 acres of land, Lakes Brick & Block's two-man production crew fills three kilns, each holding 3,000 blocks. There are 90,000 concrete blocks of various sizes ready to go for residential or commercial projects.
The stone, brick and block are used in projects throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. The business has supplied block for several schools in Beloit and the St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, Wis.
Polyock, a Zenda native, said he furnishes the block for projects while Janesville Brick furnishes the brick.
The arrangement is economical for both companies, according to Polyock and Kelly.
“We had a really good year over here in Janesville and business is getting stronger over there,” Kelly said. “For the most part, it is going really well.”