|Do you know someone who is doing what they were born to do? Well, when you talk to Chuck Stafford, Co-Owner of Van Dorn Pools & Spas in Reisterstown, Maryland you know he’s one of those people. Chuck is enthusiastic about the pool and spa industry and speaks with pride about his staff and his company.
Stafford has been in the pool and spa industry since 1978. As he tells it, “I was 16 years old and needed a job. My father was friends with the Nields [then owners of Van Dorn Pools & Spas] and arranged that one of his 3 sons would work for them. I was the selected son!” He worked his way up from construction into sales, eventually purchasing the company from the Nields in 1998. “My brother Jay purchased half of the business and brought in a strong construction background,” says Stafford.
Van Dorn Pools & Spas sells and installs pools, both in-ground and above-ground, hot tubs and all the chemicals and supplies needed to make pool or spa ownership a breeze. During the pool building season, their staff increases to around 24 with 3 active construction crews but business stays steady throughout the rest of the year with sales, service and maintenance work.
Stafford feels his mission is to make sure his customers have the best experience when they purchase a pool or hot tub from Van Dorn Pools & Spas. “It’s something we continually strive to make even better,” says Stafford. Owning a brick and mortar business in the age of technology and social media has its challenges and keeps Stafford increasingly vigilant about the level of customer service they offer. “Having been in the business for 40 years, we see a difference between the generations,” says Stafford. “People are much more informed and particular now but, when they deal with us they know we’re the real thing. It’s all about having great customers and great employees!”
Donna Gaven, Assistant Store Manager for Van Dorn Pools & Spas at the Kingsville, Maryland location echoes Stafford’s thoughts, “What sets us apart is that we are a smaller and family owned. We have long term employees who are experienced and very knowledgeable.”
From 2006 through 2008 was a difficult time for the Staffords and Van Dorn Pools & Spas. “We’re glad we got through because many didn’t,” says Stafford. “What got us through is that we have an exclusive product mix and loyal relationships with our manufacturers.” He adds, “Customers see that history and it makes them confident to work with us!”
Both Stafford and Gaven are looking forward to growing the client base for Van Dorn Pools & Spas over the next few years. “Our goal is always to beat last year’s sales. It’s a fun game and we like to have fun!” says Gaven with a wide grin.
Gaven’s other distinction, aside from being an Assistant Store Manager for Van Dorn Pools & Spas, is she is also a Nordic Hot Tub owner! “I love my Retreat MS,” says Gaven emphatically. “Nordic’s hot tubs rarely need service! They are simple and easy! Plus, they are efficient and cost very little to operate!” Stafford agrees and is happy with his decision to bring in the Nordic line seven years ago. “They [Nordic] fit right into our product mix and allow us to bring in a broader customer mix,” he states.
What advice do they have for other dealers? “Stay true to your products! Find the product mix that works for your customers and treat them right!” says Gaven.
Chuck Stafford, Donna Gaven and the Van Dorn Sales Team can be reached through the website or, find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Van Dorn Pools & Spas located on
Main Street in Reisterstown, Maryland.
Van Dorn Pools & Spas' Kingsville, Maryland location on Belair Road.
Van Dorn Pools & Spas' Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania location on
East Forrest Ave.