Broadway Glass & Mirror, Inc. Celebrating 60 Years In Business

(Photograph by the Business Journal’s Evan Patrick Kelly)

Original Article from Long Beach Business Journal

Broadway Glass & Mirror Inc. is celebrating its 60th anniversary today, September 1. The business, known for lighting up Broadway at night with its classic sign, was purchased by owner Ron DeWolf’s grandparents in 1955. DeWolf (pictured) started working at the family business about 35 years ago to help out his family, and never left. In 2008, he purchased his sister’s share in the business to become sole owner. Since then, DeWolf acquired a San Pedro business, Mac’s Glass, and opened a new headquarters in Westside Long Beach. While the business originally focused on glass replacement for residences and autos, over time it grew to include large commercial projects. The diversity of projects Broadway Glass & Mirror is able to accommodate is part of the reason it has been successful, DeWolf told the Business Journal. “Being able to serve all facets of the industry . . . has helped us stay in business as long as we have,” he said. Customers range from local residents looking to replace glass in a picture frame to the Long Beachbased national health care provider Molina Healthcare, he noted. A recent local project was installing glass for the Gelson’s supermarket near Belmont Shore. “Our biggest thing we believe in, and feel is one of the reasons we have been able to endure for 60 years, is that . . . we really do try to put our customers first,” DeWolf said. Broadway Glass & Mirror’s showroom and retail store is located at 2523 E. Broadway. Call 562/434-8405 for more information.


Broadway Glass & Mirror Family Reflects On History

ALL IN THE FAMILY. Ron DeWolf and Denise DeWolf, a brother and sister team, stand outside Broadway Glass & Mirror Inc.-—Gazette photo by Ashleigh Ruhl

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Reflecting on their family’s longevity in the industry, brother-sister duo Ron DeWolf and Denise DeWolf are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Broadway Glass & Mirror Inc.

Their grandparents — Verta and James DeWolf — purchased the business in 1955, living in a bungalow behind the shop for many years before eventually tearing their home down to make more retail space. They believe the story goes that a cousin, Walt Paddleford, originally started the company in a garage across the street about a decade before that, but the DeWolfs were the ones who really grew the family legacy.

Ron DeWolf said his grandparents initially offered simple glass replacement for residences as well as auto glass repair and replacement. Although the glass and mirror business hasn’t changed dramatically through the years, they eventually stopped doing auto glass and instead ventured into the commercial arena in the late 1980s. The company still offers a range of services, from installation of glass shower doors in new apartment complexes to cutting glass for an individual picture frame.

“We never say no,” Denise DeWolf said. “We come and look at it, and we figure out a way to do what our customers need.”

About 20 employees work for the company between original retail shop on Broadway near Lindero Avenue and a warehouse/dispatch center on the west side of town. Also, the family owns Mac’s Glass & Mirror Inc. in San Pedro.

“We’re a $3 million to $4 million company at this point, and we have a versatile range of services that help keep up busy even in tough times,” Ron DeWolf said. “Our largest project to date was a $1.5 million commercial project that needed custom interior shower doors.”

Ron DeWolf, who grew up sweeping the floor there, said his family needed his help right after he graduated high school because his grandfather got sick and couldn’t keep working. So, the teenager dropped his plans to become a police officer and started running the family business.

Denise DeWolf, who is a certified public accountant, was an equal partner with her brother for many years before stepping back a little bit. But she said she couldn’t stay away, and loves working with her little brother.

Nowadays, she manages the retail side of the business, guiding customers through a showroom of windows, mirrors large enough to fill an entire wall and shower displays — some of the popular sellers.

“We make a great team,” Ron DeWolf said. “Denise really maintains our local presence and remembers our customers. When our regulars pull up their car here, we see them and have already asked someone to have the material ready to take to their car.”


ALL IN THE FAMILY. Ron DeWolf and Denise DeWolf, a brother and sister team, stand outside Broadway Glass & Mirror Inc.-—Gazette photo by Ashleigh Ruhl

They said they have a unique, small town-style relationship on the retail side of things with their Long Beach customers that has kept them competitive even though big box stores sometimes offer similar services. And, their growth into the commercial side of the business is something Ron DeWolf has focused on, with hopes to grow that side even more.

Ron DeWolf noted that there were once about 58 different glass shops in Long Beach, but there aren’t half that many now. He said just a handful have survived as long as Broadway Glass & Mirror.

The brother and sister team said they know their grandparents are smiling down on them as they work together each day. They both said they love their jobs.

“Seeing us here together, I know it would have done their hearts good,” Denise DeWolf said about their grandparents.

Broadway Glass & Mirror Inc. is located at 2523 E. Broadway. For details about the business, visit or call (562) 434 8405.

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Broadway Glass has A Clear Vision

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Broadway Glass and Mirror Photo By Jeff Gritchen, OC Register Staff Photographer

Broadway Glass & Mirror isn’t the biggest glass installer in the area, but it has become one of the larger diversified businesses that divides its revenue between commercial and residential streams.

Owner Ron DeWolf bought Broadway Glass, which has been in business since 1954, from his sister in 2008 after they inherited it 14 years earlier from their grandparents, James and Verta DeWolf.

Since the Great Recession, Ron DeWolf has invested heavily in the tiny glass and mirror shop that his grandparents had made a brand-name fixture for decades on Broadway. He has stepped up bidding on commercial jobs, in addition to keeping true to the bread-and-butter business of cutting glass for walk-in customers for items such as picture frames and windows.

“We aggressively looked for business rather than wait for it to come to us,” DeWolf said.

It’s not uncommon to see Broadway Glass hanging scaffolding outside of some high-rise buildings downtown to replace safety-glass windows. For instance, just a week ago, Broadway added several huge window panels on the 15th floor of 300 Oceangate, where Molina Healthcare Inc. is adding an event hall. The windows extend from floor to ceiling, giving an unobstructed scenic view of roughly two-thirds of the floor to downtown Long Beach and the twin seaports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Some of its biggest jobs have included installation of windows at a fire station in Hollywood and 550 shower enclosures at the swanky W Hotel in Hollywood.

It also has added windows at the Long Beach Convention Center, Hyatt Regency, Los Alamitos Elementary School, Long Beach Senior Arts Colony on East Anaheim Street and several high-rise residential towers in downtown Long Beach.

At the moment, DeWolf is juggling an expansion of the business to West Long Beach and San Pedro and building up more commercial work simultaneously. He hired a president to help run operations from 2010 to July and free the company to more aggressively expand through acquisitions. DeWolf pulled back the reins on expansion, shedding the president as he cautiously reevaluated the pace of growth.

“It was more than I expected,” said DeWolf, who said he took on more than he could handle.

In 2012, DeWolf acquired the assets of bankrupt-Mac’s Glass & Mirror at 1044 S. Gaffey St. in San Pedro and renamed the business Mac’s Glass Inc.

He also began leasing a 7,500-square-foot warehouse at 2001 W. 16th St. in Long Beach, where he plans to move Broadway’s headquarters as well as keep his fleet of vehicles for hauling plate glass. He already has carved out offices in the building in the industrial neighborhood, where he’ll open the main headquarters in a month or two, he said.

The retail shop on Broadway will remain. There are no plans to move that long-time fixture from Broadway, he said.

DeWolf, like his grandparents before him, lives in the top floor of the glass shop, in the rear. He plans to remodel some of the warehousing behind the store to expand his own personal space.

Since buying the business from his sister, Denise, in 2008, DeWolf is finally hitting his stride in the business.

Before 2013, the best-ever year for revenue was the year in which DeWolf bought the business, mainly because Broadway Glass was still fulfilling commercial orders placed before the economic crash.

The business felt the lingering effects from the recession in 2009 to 2012 but started seeing an upswing in revenue afterward.

“We always felt like since we had been such a local business for so long, it really helped us weather the economic downturn,” DeWolf said.

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