Brooks Bros. merges with Community Energy
Long-time Bethel business Brooks Bros. Inc. has merged with Community Energy of Rumford.
"The only thing that's changing is Jack and I are retiring," said co-owner Jeri Brooks Greenwell Tuesday. "The staff remains the same, the name remains the same, the services and the contracts we have are the same."
Brooks Brothers, a three-generation family business on Main Street, is in the heating oil and plumbing business and also sells a variety of hardware and household items.
Greenwell said she and her brother, Jack, signed papers for the merger Sept. 3. Community Energy is in the fuel, propane, solar, geothermal, heat pump and air conditioning business.
"We are thrilled," said Greenwell. "It's a marriage made in heaven. Community Energy is a family-owned business, with the same values."
She said some of the Brooks Bros. crew "wants to get into the gas business," and this will give them that opportunity.
Jack Brooks said his grandfather, D. Grover Brooks, bought the business in 1918, when it was Brown's Hardware. He then went off to World War I, returning to operate the business in 1919.
In the 1950s Jack's father, Dana, and uncle, Don, took over. Jack and Jeri have operated it as co-owners since Don retired, Jack said.
Jack said he is just as happy as Jeri with the new business arrangement.
"We're delighted," he said.
Community Energy co-owner Roger Arsenault echoed the Brookses. "We think a lot of them and their employees," he said Tuesday. "We're really looking forward to being there. We're already doing some projects together."
Arsenault said the two companies combined will have 39 employees.
Arsenault's business partner in Community Energy is Lee Buotte.