Randy Reed: Born to Locksmith
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
OAKLAND — For Randy Reed, an early education in the locksmith trade set the stage for long-term professional success. “When I was growing up, my dad was a landlord and processed repossessions for six different banks in the Oakland area,” he explains. “He would take over the properties, manage them and turn them around so they could be resold. He taught my brother, Ron, and I to do lock work for him at a very young age. By the time I was seven, I was pretty much running his lock shop out of our basement.”
Later, while attending UC Berkeley, Randy worked nights as a locksmith to pay his tuition, and after he graduated, he partnered with his brother to open their own lock shop. “When Ron and I opened our shop back in 1981, it was just the two of us,” he says. “By 1990, we had more than 50 employees, and today we’re probably the largest locksmith and alarm shop of our kind in the state.”
Today, as owner of Reed Brothers Security, Randy says his favorite part of his job is exceeding his customers’ expectations. “Since we’re one of the largest locksmith shops in Northern California, we carry a wide selection of products, so I really enjoy matching customers with the right products and giving them a real ‘wow’ customer service experience.”
A resident of Alameda (where he lives with his wife, Laurel), Randy says he enjoys the dynamic character of the Bay Area. “It’s a fun place to live—there’s plenty to do, the weather is great and the food is even better. It’s nice living in a place where you don’t really have weather but you’re close to visiting it when you want to.”
Outside of work, Randy engages in a variety of pastimes and hobbies. “I love watching movies, backpacking, cooking, skiing and weight lifting,” he says. “I’m also an avid gardener—I grow vegetables, succulents and cactus—and I enjoy going to visit my kids at their colleges.”
In his life and career, Randy espouses the importance of addressing needs on a variety of levels. “My goal is to take care of everybody and keep them happy,” he says. “If my employees are happy, they stick around; if my customers are happy, they come back. The trick is finding ways to meet everybody’s needs.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland A’s.
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Both. I’m a bit of a politics junkie, so I enjoy following the news and hearing arguments from different perspectives.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Otaez Mexican Restaurant in Alameda.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Scotland and Wales.
Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
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A: My 10-speed bike.