John and Ralph Cook, the founders of Cook Bros. Construction, LLC,, grew up on an Angus beef cattle farm in central Illinois. Hard work, ingenuity, and pride in a job well done were the foundations of the brothers’ upbringing. Both realized early in life that the process of creating something from nothing was both rewarding and fun.
During the summer prior to their last year of college studies, they planned a motorcycle excursion to the hills of East Tennessee. This trip planted the seeds of John and Ralph Cook’s relocation to Knoxville following graduation. They raised funds for the move by selling their motorcycles (a significant sacrifice!), and moved to Tennessee with a homemade enclosed trailer and the shirts on their backs. The brothers had no family in the area, no contacts, no real business plan – simply a shared vision to start a business together centered around construction and real estate.
After arriving in Knoxville in 2001, John and Ralph began rehabbing and remodeling properties. Honing both their hands-on and project management skills with dozens of homes over the next 3 years, they developed strong subcontractor and vendor relationships with quality partners that the company still works with today. Based on their success, the brothers realized that custom homes should be next on the horizon. Obtaining residential as well as commercial and industrial licenses, Cook Bros. Construction, LLC opened its doors in August 2004.
The continued growth of the housing market during these next years allowed for a seamless transition into building custom homes in Knox and surrounding counties. John and Ralph created a unique experience for their clients by providing close communication, accurate pricing and an attention to detail that was unparalleled. Building new homes, both speculative and custom, led to a period of tremendous growth for the company during the next 3 years.
While Cook Bros. Construction was certainly not immune to the challenges that hit the housing market late in 2007, John and Ralph took conscious steps to keep the company on its growth track during this period. The strong referral network of satisfied clients and vendor partners provided a very active remodeling sector, and allowed the time for the brothers to develop a business plan to meet the needs of an evolving market. And while fewer folks were building new custom homes, those who did were still finding Cook Bros. Construction.
Cook Bros. Construction continues to innovate and evolve to better meet the needs of its clients, from adding team members that allow the company to bring more critical processes in-house to integrating technology into all facets of the day-to-day operation. John and Ralph are pleased to see and experience the fruits of their labor as the company continues to grow in number of projects, revenue, recognition and capabilities, while never forgetting the clients and trade partners that supported the company from the beginning. They are exceptionally proud of the family of satisfied clients that continue to recommend the company and invite us back into their homes, and the team of professionals they have assembled to serve them. However, they are most proud that they have created a company that lives up to its motto everyday – Quality Craftsmanship Without Compromise.
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