COH, CHBC celebrate milestones in 70th, 20th anniversaries

Cebu Oversea Hardware Co., Inc. (COH) and Cebu Home and Builders Centre (CHBC) marked important milestones in a historic celebration as they reflected on the lessons of the years and how these will influence the way forward for the companies.

A joint gathering for the 20th anniversary of CHBC and 70th anniversary of COH held last June 11, 2022, at the Bright Academy in Cebu City retraced the company’s journey from one small store to diversified brands of hardware construction and finishing materials and honored the people who have contributed to the transformation.

Michael Co, Cebu Home and Builders Centre CEO, said the inspiration behind the creation of CHBC was in itself a journey. He added that at its heart was a desire to respond to the need for a Cebu-based company to provide quality yet reasonably-priced building materials for Cebuanos and homeowners in the Visayas and Mindanao.

CHBC, a brainchild of brothers Michael and James Co, was created in 2002 to serve the retail segment of the market. It is one of several companies that grew from the wholesale hardware store started by their father and uncle along Manalili St. in Cebu City in 1952. Other subsidiaries include Oversea Agri Aqua, Living N Style, and Parkmall.

Outstanding employees

Saturday’s celebration also served as an occasion for recognizing the company’s outstanding employees. The Co brothers, with their cousin and Chairman of the Board Napoleon Co, spearheaded the awarding of close to 400 employees who have been with the company for at least 10 years. 

The company acknowledged the contributions of 8 retiree awardees, 3 service awardees, 148 bronze awardees (10 to 19 years), 12 silver awardees (20 to 29 years),  one gold awardee (30 to 39 years), and one diamond awardee (40 to 49 years). A posthumous award for the late Anabelle Sales was received by her husband.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was also given to Chairman Co, a Diamond Award to Michael Co, and Gold Award to James Co. A total of 70 employees each received P50,000 worth of home renovation products during the raffle draw.

Aside from providing quality service and products to customers, the Cebu Oversea Group’s sustainability also comes from taking care of its employees, according to James Co. 

“I think that’s the key here. If we just take care of our frontliners or our workers, I’m sure they will take care of our customers for us,” he added.

Quality service, products

What made the journey from idea to realization possible for CHBC was the coming together of three factors: serving a  need, coming up with quality products, and being always prepared for change. Despite the growth of their retail stores, Michael Co said they will continue to strengthen COH, which serves as a wholesale channel for construction materials.

“The never ending development of our core products is essential to our survival, existence, and growth. This, together with the services we provide, defines the total customer experience that sets us apart from our many competitors,” he added.

COH and CHBC also support corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities related to housing initiatives. These include programs like Dasig Sugbo and Payag.

James Co said the company looks forward to serving the needs of customers in various channels, be it digitally or through physical stores. He said they planned to open a retail store in Carcar later this year and two more in two to three years time.