The Hustons and Tritts, owners, Patio Pleasures Pools & Spas

Patio Pleasures Pools & Spas

Photography by Paul McMahon

If you stopped into Patio Pleasures Pools & Spas in Madison, Wisconsin, there are a few things you’d notice: the pleasant smell, courtesy of ScentAir, which helps develop scent marketing strategies for companies. You’d probably be offered a cup of the company’s Hot Tub Happiness coffee, which has been privately labeled and branded for Patio Pleasures.

Patio Pleasures Pools & Spas, Madison, Wisconsin

“Coffee is not our area of expertise, nor am I suggesting to bring it into the industry as a profit source,” says Rene Huston, co-owner of the business. “We’ll let the coffee experts do that. But it’s just a small touch of that enhanced experience and makes [the customer] want to come back.”

Huston and her husband, Brett, own the business with her twin sister and brother-in-law, Adrianne and Tom Tritt. The Tritts befriended the owners of a local hot tub company they frequented to care for their hot tub. Tom and Brett, longtime friends who both have electrical experience, started doing side jobs wiring hot tubs for the company. Eventually, the owners asked if they would be interested in purchasing the business.

“We were very fortunate when we bought the business  [the previous owners] already had a very strong relationships with some of the best brands in the industry,” Huston says. “Those were a big part of our growth.”

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The men brought electrical and mechanical skills, and the sisters brought marketing and business savvy. However, none of them had much history in the industry. Huston calls it “ignorance on fire.”

Patio Pleasures Pools & Spas, Madison, Wisconsin

“We started with a little experience in the industry but we made a really strong commitment to learning the industry and to growing our skillset,” Huston says. It was important to the owners, she says, to provide a good work environment and strive to be the best. “Here we are 11 years later, two locations and we’ve grown the business to be a multimillion-dollar-a-year business. We are one of the best in our industry. We’re proud of how far we’ve come considering where we started.”

As Patio Pleasures grew, it developed systems and structure to be a strong hot tub company and pool builder, a unique combination in their area.

“Pulling it all together does require a lot of work, and it does require additional staff and levels of expertise, but we’ve been able to accomplish that and it makes us very different within our market,” Huston says. “People ask, ‘Who are your competitors?’ We have competitors in different areas of our business, but we don’t have a competitor that does quite what we do by [selling pools and spas].”