Jafco Foods, now known as Cúrate Food Service, has been in business outside Boston, Mass., in North Andover since 1985. The food supplier aims to conduct wholesale food distribution, supplying customers with quality food products, as well as strategic supply chain and logistics solutions that maximize efficiency and reduce costs.
“Jafco Foods believes in being the best, every time,” the company’s website reads. “Jafco Foods exists to provide our customers with quality food, unmatched customer service, and to provide strategic and logistics solutions, which maximize efficiency and reduce costs for our customers.” Jafco has more than 50 product lines and more than 500 items, and it continues to develop products and menu concepts that meet a high culinary standard, while also consistently reducing food acquisition costs.
None of this would be possible without a highly functional service production facility — and that was something the company did not have. It needed new flooring that would meet the customer’s demanding requirements, and it needed that new flooring put in quickly.
That’s where the team at Black Bear Coatings & Concrete came in. The company is based in Leominster, Mass., and has more than 25 years of industry experience. The Black Bear employees have experience in designing, installing, repairing, and maintaining industrial floors, and they use innovative techniques and cutting-edge technology to get the job done.
The company, which specializes in decorative and designer epoxy, urethane mortars, surface restoration, cementitious coatings, polishing, mitigation systems, and more, is run by Justin Tousignant, president and owner.
“Our comprehensive approach centers around engineering the correct resinous coating to install, as defined by the performance of the material in a specific space — for example, mechanical, manufacturing, clean rooms,” said Tousignant. “This requires complete understanding of the environmental conditions of a particular area, including substrate condition, chemical exposure, impact resistance, wear resistance, thermal shock, and aesthetics. In an existing or operating facility, it is also important to consider the impact on operations.”
For this job at Cúrate Food Service, Black Bear Coatings & Concrete won the job through the general contractor. It was a contractor they have worked with before, and they won the job as they usually do: by meeting user requirements and hitting the price point they were looking for, Tousignant said. Jafco badly needed the new flooring, he said.
“It was a new expansion for them, they were expanding lines and capabilities to be able to process more product,” explained Tousignant. But that presented a time crunch problem. “Tight deadlines were an issue,” he said. “On these jobs, they are always behind. General contractors are always trying to make up time. Everything is on an expedited schedule these days — even when you start on time you’re behind.”
That tight schedule was part of how the coating was picked for this particular job. “We chose General Polymers [now branded as Sherwin-Williams] 4850 Polyaspartic topcoat because it allowed us to get back on the floor more quickly for recoats, and it had a return to service that was quicker,” Tousignant said. That started with the FasTop 12S Urethane Cement at an average of 0.25 inches (6.35 mm).
“It is extremely impact-resistant and highly tolerant to thermal shock,” Tousignant said of the entire system. “The General Polymers 4850 is a polyaspartic coating that has the ability to withstand fats and acids, heavy degreasers, and other chemical cleaning agents, along with providing an easy-to-clean surface. It will also provide a textured surface for safety, especially when wet.”
All of this was extremely important for the flooring in a facility where food was being prepared.
Safety and Strategy
The size of the job was 7,700 square feet (715.4 m2), and it took 8 to 10 days to complete. The job was divided into two areas, and each took three to five days to complete. And, for the five- to eight-person crew, the safety considerations were as seamless as the strategy.
The crew members all wore hi-vis vests, eye protection, and hard hats. The job took place in October 2019, which mean that the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet a factor, and luckily weather didn’t come into play, either. “Everything was inside, and it was in the fall, so [it] wasn’t too hot,” Tousignant said. The job also used all zero volatile organic compound (VOC) material, so there were no ventilation concerns.
When it came time to start, the job began with the crew prepping the floor. They did this by mechanically grinding to create the proper surface profile, and then demolishing and removing the failing flooring, as needed. Taking up days one and two on the job, the prep was completed using Blastrac 10 Global shot blasters and Terrco diamond grinders.
“We also had to grind the hip wall, which had a 12-inch [30.5 cm] curve we had to prepare to accept coatings,” Tousignant said. “We had some joint details we had to integrate into the flooring system: A couple construction joints were dynamic in nature, so we had to honor them through the concrete and install chemical-resistant polyurea.”
Additional detail work was completed on the first two days, including patching and repairing the floor as needed. The crew used a non-shrink epoxy grout to accomplish that task.
By the second and third days, the crew was ready to install a seamless cove base of 6 inches (15.2 cm) overlapping the existing cove by 0.5 inches (1.3 cm).
Then by the third day, they were ready to lay down that FasTop 12S and started in on the Polyaspartic Topcoat, applied at an average thickness of 0.25 inches. The topcoat installation continued into the fourth day, too.
To put down the coatings, the crew used squeegees, rollers, and gage rakes that they obtained from Midwest.
Once all of the work was completed on the entire first area, the crew moved on to the second area and did the whole thing over again, using the same process.
“We chose that system because it hit their price point, and the chemical resistance was a function of the space,” Tousignant said of Jafco. “They do meat processing in there, sausages and chicken.” The Black Bear crew was able to complete all of the flooring work before the facility was up and running.
Soon enough, the job was done on time, allowing the general contractor to stay on schedule. That means that with Black Bear’s help, the client and crew members were able to get home in time for the dinner bell!
Listen in on a podcast episode where CoatingsPro interviews Tousignant more about some of Black Bear Coatings & Concrete's practices.