4 minute read

A Father+Son Marple-Newtown Business

Business Profile by Craig Whitney

Photos courtesy of Shannon Lynn Photography www.ShannonLynnPhotography.com

Scott’s Fireplace Products is a father-son business that has been part of Delaware County for over 30 years. Scott Magness became the Owner in 2009, and his son Ray became a Manager and Salesman for the company in 2011. With Scott’s years of experience in the field, Ray’s youthful enthusiasm in the store, and a skilled team firmly in place, the company has thrived for a decade in this community.

Scott and Ray Magness are the father-and-son team behind Scott’s Fireplace Products

Scott and Ray Magness are the father-and-son team behind Scott’s Fireplace Products

Scott’s Fireplace Products specializes in gas fireplaces, from vent free to vented to direct vent. They also offer products such as custom glass door enclosures that could be made for any type of fireplace. For outdoor products, Scott’s carries a gas grill line and can also install a wide variety of gas fire pits and all related accessories.

Scott Magness is also an expert plumber. While in high school, he learned that trade from his uncle. The value of working with his hands was instilled in Scott early, and in 1987, he started his own plumbing business to serve the Delaware County region.

Scott soon began adding gas fireplace installation and service to his offerings, something not offered by most other plumbers because installation can be advanced depending on the setup of the house, and the skills involved can be unique to gas fireplaces. Scott saw a strong growing demand for gas fireplaces and customers looking for a knowledgeable and reliable local gas fireplace sales and service. That combination prompted him to specialize in gas fireplaces.

I enjoy working with people and solving problems,” Scott said. “If people don’t know how gas lines are run, they say things like ‘Are you sure you can do that?’ I explain to them how it can be done, and they often seem amazed not only that I actually did it but did it efficiently.”

Robert DeYoung was the original owner of the fireplace company, formerly DeYoung’s Fireside Shoppe, which started in 1985. The whole Magness family has been close with Mr. DeYoung and his family for many years. Scott worked as an installer, and in 2009, he got the opportunity to take over the business. The transition to ownership was made easier thanks to Mr. DeYoung, who worked under Scott in the beginning stages after Scott took ownership. Mr. DeYoung even helped mentor Scott’s son Ray when he wanted to join the business.

Ray attended Haverford High. He then took several business courses that were very formative for his professional trajectory. Ray had an understanding of marketing and advertising and an appreciation for the value of labor, passed down through generations. This made him a perfect fit for the role of in-store management and sales. Scott offered Ray the position, and while Scott worked as Owner and Installer, Robert DeYoung helped train Ray.

Mr. DeYoung helped me get my feet wet in this industry,” Ray explained. “His wisdom helped me latch onto it, and his enthusiasm gave me enthusiasm.”

Ray spends much of his time in the office, talking with prospective customers about their needs. That’s the part of the job that he enjoys the most, building a relationship with each customer, getting a sense of who they are, and finding the fireplace that would best suit them.

I like talking to people, learning their style, understanding their vision, and hopefully exceeding their expectations with our products,” Ray stated.

Some of the many items Scott's Fireplace Products offers

Some of the many items Scott's Fireplace Products offers

The relationship does not end at the store, and that’s something both Ray and Scott take very seriously. Scott’s Fireplace Products is a full-service company, and after a customer purchases a product, Scott and his team will install it. Customers can then choose to receive regular product maintenance.

It’s important to us that we are a one-stop shop,” Scott emphasized. “These products need service, and we provide maintenance as an additional service so that any product we provide will have a full and efficient life.”

The need for regular maintenance is something Scott and Ray have had to emphasize over the years because many people mistakenly think gas fireplaces don’t need to be cleaned or serviced. There are many benefits to gas fireplaces: They provide consistent heat at a set temperature; they’re more efficient; and they require much less cleaning than wood fireplaces. But that does not mean that the product does not need to be cleaned and serviced. Especially in a home with pets, gas fireplaces need to be taken apart and cleaned every two to three years. Otherwise, the fireplace could emit fumes or break down. This is true for all gas fireplaces, but especially for vent-free units.

This is just one example of a conversation Ray will have with customers in the store, explaining the details of the product and proudly offering the full range of services. The satisfaction of a job well done isn’t truly complete until they can see the same fireplace still working well years down the road for the family Ray met when they first came into the store.

Scott’s is located at 3137 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square

Scott’s is located at 3137 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square

For the past 10 years, Scott has seen his business develop around the Newtown Square community, and for the past 8 years, he has shared the joy with his son Ray. Scott and his wife Sundey live in Havertown, and Ray lives in Drexel Hill with his fiancée Amanda, their daughter Juliana, and their dog Milo. The Magness family also includes Colin and Troy, Ray’s younger brothers.

From plumbing to gas fireplaces, Scott Magness has created and enjoyed an interesting career. He and his son Ray, along with the team at Scott’s Fireplace Products, look forward to keeping Newtown Square and the entire Delaware County region warm for years to come during those cold winter months.