Joe Sabel: One Coat at a Time
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
CONCORD — One of three brothers in the painting industry, Joe Sabel didn’t attain professional success overnight; rather, he approached it like any quality painting project: one coat at a time. “When I was 20, I started working for my older brother, who was a painting contractor,” he recounts. “Originally, I just needed a job, but I ended up really enjoying the trade and continued with it. After working with my brother, I spent four years with another painting contractor before starting my own business, which is still going strong after 30 years.”
Today, as owner of J & J’s Final Coat Painting, Inc., Joe expresses pride in his long-term professional achievements. “After all these years, our company has basically become an efficient, well-oiled machine,” he says. “By keeping our operation small, we’ve been able to keep the quality up—not to mention the hair on my head!”
A resident of Oakley (where he lives with his wife and business partner, Jill, the other “J” in the company’s moniker), Joe expresses his appreciation for the temperate Bay Area climate. “You can’t beat the weather here,” he says. “Being in the painting business, we stay busy all year round, which is unheard of in other parts of the country.”
When he’s not working, Joe devotes much of his free time to an avocational interest in viticulture. “I grow grapes and make my own wine,” he explains. “Right now, I actually have 50 gallons sitting around, waiting to be bottled. My wife and I also enjoy going wine tasting around the Bay Area.” In addition to winemaking, Joe enjoys outdoor activities like biking, wakeboarding in the delta and snowboarding at Lake Tahoe. Additionally, Joe keeps up with his and Jill’s two grown sons, Timothy and Steven, both of whom are pursuing careers in the construction trades.
In regard to his professional career, Joe espouses the importance of delivering on his promises. “The number one thing is giving my customers everything I told them I would,” he affirms. “You can’t cut corners when it comes to customer satisfaction—you have to deliver what was promised, 100 percent, and we pride ourselves on making sure that happens.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Joe says he’d take a vacation before returning to pursue another business venture. “I’m the kind of guy who will probably never retire, so if I were to stop painting, I’d probably just go into some other industry. However, first my wife and I would do some travelling. Europe is at the top of our list, so we’d probably start with Portugal or Spain and go from there.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco Giants.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Granola bars.
Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Weightlifting. I set two records at my school—for the deadlift and the bench press—which stood for 10 years afterward.
Q: What kinds of movies do you like?
A: I like movies with a lot of twists and turns. One of my favorites is “Swordfish.”
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
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A: Fishing—I love to fish in the rain.