Northside business Keymark Construction is celebrating 10 years in business by doing what they do best… construction. However, the construction isn’t for a new business or home, but for Keymark itself. After more than six years in the former Jiffy Mini Mart offices on Lafayette Avenue the business is upgrading their offices and the building’s exterior. The new look and improvements mark the business’ anniversary — along with ushering in the company’s future.
“It was probably renovated in the early ’80s so it was time for us to put our mark on it, time for us to improve this area with the remodel of the building,” owner Jacob Hellmann explains. “Inside there will be better light for our employees, on the outside better curb appeal … We have worked on so many other projects it was time for us to do our part and take care of our building and our employees.”
On Thursday, Mayor Duke Bennett stopped by the site for a quick tour and to congratulate Hellmann on the milestone for his business.
“I love to hear about locally owned businesses that are doing well and Keymark is a great example of that,” Bennett said during the visit. “They have good, quality folks that are working here, doing tremendous projects in the community. They have worked with the city on a couple of things and it’s rewarding to see a company make it 10 years. That may not sound like a very long amount of time to some, but the truth is that small businesses can struggle, especially in these times, but this one is thriving in our community.”
Hellmann and wife Stefanie have grown the business exponentially since officially incorporating on Jan. 11, 2011. A Terre Haute native, Hellmann attended Terre Haute South Vigo High School and then the University of Dayton. After gaining work experience he chose to come “home” and open a business. The couple, who both hold degrees in engineering, launched Keymark from a small office.
“My wife and I saw an opportunity for a construction company, so it started with us working in a one-room office, just the two of us,” Hellmann explains. “We worked hard, grew the business and have been building commercial and residential structures throughout the Wabash Valley.”
The company now employs 13 people, full time. Keymark’s resume of local projects includes The Sycamore Winery, Union Health Eastside, Dunkin’ Donuts Terre Haute, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Residences and Education Center at Indiana State University and numerous others.
Not only is the company’s resume impressive, but the things they do outside of work. Keymark dedicates time, supplies and labor to a “Day of Service.” Employees volunteer for projects including the creation of a structure for the new farmers market in 12 Points and others on the campus of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
Now taking a small amount of time to focus on their own building, Hellmann estimates the construction of their offices will be completed in just a few months. He says he’s excited to show off the work they have done on the building to clients and his own family. The couple have four children: Isaiah, Noah, Clara and Olivia. The middle and elementary school students may someday go into the family business — or not — says Hellmann. The importance, he explains, is more about working hard and with integrity, as Keymark has for the last 10 years.
“I consider what we’re teaching our children is how to work, whether it’s in construction, accounting, whatever, we’re teaching them how to work and what that means,” he says. “It’s fun to show them buildings that we have built but it’s more about teaching them that, one, it’s okay to work with your hands and two, what an honest day’s work looks like.”