Sparks Company Inc.

Sparks picSparks Company provides high-quality electrical services to long-term clients.

By Stephanie Crets

Sparks Company Inc. provides top-quality commercial and residential electrical services to companies in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. For more than 20 years, the company has been committed to improving services and finding better ways to help customers achieve their goals. Whether a customer is interested in updating its UPS system or installing new lighting, Sparks Company will provide the high-quality electrical services they expect.

Sparks Company works within a variety of industries but its biggest repeat customers are those in the healthcare educational and food processing industries, serving well-known brands such as Ocean Spray. It performs work such as installing fire and emergency safety systems, building fit-ups, lighting systems, HVAC controls and automation, commercial generators, UPS systems and electrical design for IT rooms. The company prefers to stay within five or six projects at a time, depending on its size.

“Most of our work is done by our own employees,” President John Sparks says. “We don’t hire too many subcontractors. Occasionally we’ll hire a fire alarm or security subcontractor, but that’s about it. All the other facets of what we do are done with our employees.”

Up to Date

Because electrical work can be very technical, Sparks Company has seen many advancements in technology since its inception in 1991. “If you don’t adapt, you get lost,” Sparks explains. “You have to keep up with the changes in the industry and it seems to be changing more frequently in the last 10 years – year after year is something different. You’ve got to stay with it, which is difficult. We do a lot of work and at times it can be difficult to adapt to all the changes, but through tradeshows, magazines and talking to other electrical contractors, you get a good sense of the electrical industry.” 

Some of its recent projects include the process and instrumentation wiring of a methane generator for the Stop & Shop Distribution Center in Assonet, Ma. The generator runs off of the methane gas that is produced from the process of mixing produce that is brought back from the Stop & Shop markets. This generator powers a portion of the facility. Sparks Company also does a fair amount of work in the food industry and is about to start another project with long-term client Ocean Spray. 

“Ocean Spay has been a great client for us,” Sparks says. “Over the years, we have completed electrical installations of bottling lines and sweetened dried cranberry lines at many plants across the country. We also work with their research and development team that is always trying to improve Ocean Spray products. We’ve been very fortunate to be considered by them for as long as we have.”

When working within the foodservice industry, Sparks Company utilizes a lot of stainless steel products and PVC-coated conduits, along with unique installation methods. “That’s typical of the food industry,” Sparks explains. “Because of the cleanliness that is required, everything that is installed needs to be able to withstand the environment in which it is location, such as the acidity of the juice and the chemicals used to clean the equipment. These wiring methods are unique and different than most places.”

Small-Town Feel

Based in small-town Little Compton, R.I., Sparks Company treats both employees and clients as long-term friends. The company runs operations with the mentality of treating everyone the same way it wants to be treated. Thanks to its small group of employees, it can focus on building those relationships while getting the job done because the customer gets to know everyone that’s part of Sparks Company.

“A lot of our customers want to see the same employee come back to the jobsite because he is familiar with their needs,” Sparks explains. “We create a good atmosphere for everyone. In this business, it’s very competitive. If you stay with someone for three or four years that’s a long run, but we have a number of customers that have e been with us for 30 to 35 years – 25 with my company and another 10 with my father’s before my brother and I started our own.”

But Sparks is ready to pass the torch. He’s built a successful business and will be ready to hand it over to Ryan Mello, who is currently in transition, learning the day-to-day processes. “I’ll be around for another five to 10 years still, but Ryan’s doing well and I am hopeful that it will all work out,” Sparks says. “A big part of his job is to develop the same relationships with customers that I had and he’s doing a good job of that as well. I’m looking forward to seeing him succeed.”

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