From the outside, Jay Broyer and Brandon Jones know their approach seems unorthodox, some may even call it “crazy.” The second cousins who are also co-owners of St. Cyr Pool & Spa in Middleton, Massachusetts, have bought three pool and spa businesses in the last four years, and they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
“Our vision is to make this a multi-region endeavor,” Broyer says.
The pair bought St. Cyr Pool & Spa in 2019 from Jones’ uncle, John St. Cyr, making them the third generation to own the business. In 2021, they purchased Budget Pools, a large retailer nearby; and this year, they acquired Swimming Pool Center of Hampstead based in Hampstead, New Hampshire.
“I think that those first two [Budget Pools and Swimming Pool Center] are just the start of the roadmap,” Jones says. “It’s where we want to keep going, whether it is opening new stores or acquiring them.”
St. Cyr Pool & Spa was founded in 1972 by Ann and Charlie St. Cyr. Broyer worked for the business as a teenager before leaving to start a company with his brother. Jones didn’t enter the pool industry until he was an adult, working as a pool repair technician in Florida. But he missed his family and gave Uncle John a call to see if he had a job for him back in Massachusetts. Turns out Broyer had also been in touch with St. Cyr, wanting to know if he would be ready to sell the business, so the uncle put the two of them in touch.
“It made a lot of sense because of [Jones’] service background and mechanical inclination and my retail, sales and marketing [experience],” Broyer says, adding that their even-keeled personalities and good communication have helped them maintain the partnership.
“I’m more of the jump-in without any sort of plan,” Jones says. “Jay is very thoughtful and thinks out everything, which is good. It’s a good balance. I’ve got these huge dreams, and sometimes they’re out of the realm of possibility.”
St. Cyr had two employees when the pair bought it; between all three locations, they now have close to 50.
“We’re learning every day,” Broyer says. “We had to hire consultants and people that knew about [HR, insurance, etc.] to take it over. And we invested a lot in technology, in automation.”
Although they’re always ready for new opportunities, Broyer says the focus is on making sure all operations are running smoothly.
“We have to really bring our ‘A-game’ and get things where they need to be before we can grow much further,” he says. “But we’re doing some cool stuff on that end to bring those things together, so we can operate in multiple regions efficiently and effectively.”
One area they’ve made lots of improvements is the service department. They started using ServiceTitan to keep them organized and branched out to service all brands of hot tubs.
“A lot of people got out [of doing hot tub service] during COVID,” Broyer says. “The service department just skyrocketed, and we were able to grow that exponentially every single year a lot faster.”
Since the sales department was mainly focused on taking orders during the pandemic, more attention was given to the service department, and that’s starting to pay off.
“As we’re getting out of [COVID], you’re going to have to be better [at service],” Jones says. “All your techs and staff will have to be well-educated and knowledgeable. Customers are going to command a higher customer experience and they should.”
Though they are aiming for high growth, Broyer says it’s not only about numbers. “It’s not about how many stores are we going to have or what our revenue is going to look like,” he says. “I want to be the highest-reviewed, best company in New England. If we can make the [St. Cyr] name the most recognized and most trusted name in New England when it comes to pools and spas, that would be my goal.”