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February 25, 2019

Brown’s Glass shop marks its 30th year in business

“It’s family-owned and -operated, and we stand behind our work 100 percent,” Mitchell Brown says.
They give me results and make me look good. Customers love them. They are easy to communicate with.
— Mike Canard, general contractor
Brown’s Glass Shop
• What: Family-owned business, specializing in commercial, residential and automotive glass, mirrors and Plexiglas.

• Address: 10245 Fayettesville Road, Bealeton.

• Opened: 1989

• Owners: Mike Brown with brother, James, and son, Mitchell.

• Employees: 5.

• Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

• Website: www.brownsglassshop.com
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
A summer job as a teenager helped him start a flourishing business in Opal.

Mike Brown, co-owner of Brown’s Glass Shop in Opal, has more than 40 years of experience in the business.

“I started as a shop maintenance engineer, which means cleaning the shop, at Warrenton Glass,” Mr. Brown said. “I was 16 years old.”

The 1979 Fauquier High School graduate took an elective co-op class that allowed him to work during part of the school day.

After a dozen years at Warrenton Glass and Cherrydale Glass, Mr. Brown opened his own business in 1989.

“I would help estimate the jobs and, at the end of the day, I had to give the check to somebody else,” said Mr. Brown, 58. “I wanted to be more in charge.

“I cashed in a life insurance policy, because I had no money, but I knew this was what I wanted to do,” the Sumerduck area resident explained.

Starting out with a pickup truck and small office at Morrisville, he ordered glass as needed.

Six months later, he had so many customers that his brother James joined the business as a partner. Today, Mike Brown’s 28-year-old son Mitchell also owns part of the family shop.

Mr. Brown’s wife Denise schedules appointments and handles the finances, among other duties.

For 30 years, Brown’s Glass Shop has sold and installed commercial, residential and automotive glass, mirrors and Plexiglas.

“We do everything,” Mitchell Brown said. “We are the one stop for our customers . . . . They get a windshield done, turn around and remodel their house and then they get a shower door done a year later.”

The variety of work has “kept us afloat,” Mike Brown said.

Good customer service sets the business apart, according to his wife.

“It’s family-owned and -operated, and we stand behind our work 100 percent,” Mitchell Brown said.

“We make a point of calling everyone back . . . . I think that’s what helps us,” Mrs. Brown said.

The small business has contracts with Fauquier County government and with state liquor stores in Northern Virginia.

“Those are the emergency calls in the middle of the night,” Ms. Brown said. “When someone breaks into a liquor store . . . we either repair or board it up.”

About eight years ago, the business supplied glass to a renovation project at the Lafayette Building in Washington, D.C.

But, most of Brown’s business comes from Fauquier County.

Custom glass windows, shower doors, mirrors and vehicle windshields rank among top sellers.

On average the business installs about 15 windshields and two or three shower enclosures a week.

Windshield replacements start at $250 and shower enclosures start at $1,500.

Many customers find the business by word-of-mouth.

General contractor Mike Canard who owns GMC Enterprises has used Brown’s Glass since 1989 for window repairs, mirrors and shower enclosure installations for remodeling projects.

“I turn him over to my customer, I trust him so much,” Mr. Canard said.

“There’s nothing I can do but praise them . . . . They give me results and make me look good,” he said. “Customers love them. They are easy to communicate with.”

Mr. Canard also uses Brown’s Glass for windshield replacements on his personal vehicles.

“Our customers are the reason we are here,” Mike Brown said. “I like what I do. Every day is different. We may do windshields one day and shower doors the next.”

“Common sense and people skills” rank rank among the most important traits in the glass business, he added.

“Can you get hurt? Absolutely. Have we gotten hurt? Maybe mildly. In my 40 plus years of glass business, knock on wood, never had a stitch from broken glass,” he said.

Several times, Mr. Brown has helped travelers with emergency windshield replacements.

“Mike has the tendency to help everyone who calls,” Ms. Brown said. “He’s got a reputation of doing things fast.”

“That’s what’s kept us in business,” Mr. Brown said.

Contact Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-878-6007.


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ItsASunnyDay · February 27, 2019 at 7:47 am
Congratulations on 30 years!
TMTucker2 · February 25, 2019 at 6:08 pm
My recent experience with these folks was great. I needed some special ceramic fireplace glass to be install in a fireplace insert door. They got it done same day as I dropped off the doors. Since they only had a small piece of the special glass leftover they cut me a spare and gave it to me. A small gesture on their part made a big impression on me.
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