MH+D Inside Out: Matt Brewer on the Value of a Good Name

After his father co-founded M.R. Brewer in 1987, Matt Brewer spent much of his childhood in the woodshop and learned the satisfaction of working with his hands. Thirty years later, he and his brother, Jeff, are poised to take over operations of the family business. Matt Brewer tells Maine Home+Design what his father taught him about business and life.

Q. How would you describe M.R. Brewer’s values as a family business?

A. We’ve never been focused on the bottom line. It’s always been the brand, the name, and waking up everyday to go to work and do what you love. We’re just making sure that our employees have a job to do that day and that they’re going to get a paycheck at the end of the week. We’ve always felt that if we structure our business that way, good things will come.

Q. What does the M.R. Brewer name mean to you?

A. Our father ingrained in us since we were a very young age that all you have in this life is your word and your name. If your word is no good and your name is no good, then you’re never going to get ahead in life. We keep our brand very guarded. We make sure that we go above and beyond to make sure that our customers, our clients, and our employees are happy with us. It’s something that I actually lose sleep over.

Q. What are some challenges your company faces?

A. If you have a lot of opportunities, it’s easy to just say, “Yes, yes, yes,” and you can end up growing too fast. The next thing you know, the work either dries up or you start dropping the ball in some places, and then your brand starts getting hurt. We’re trying to grow gradually in a way that makes us comfortable.

Q. What types of projects do you work on?

A. On a regular basis, people come into our workshop, and they have a drawer that broke that they just need fixed. We’re like a community wood shop. We always say yes. We’ll do anything from a quick drawer repair to a major renovation on a new house.


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