Nate and Richard Berges working on an awning in their Pleasantville shop. Photo by Eric Weeks Recent photo of Richard Berges (l.), Nate Berges (center), and Lou LoPorto (r.) beside one of their trucks. Photo by Eric Weeks
aesthetics so that once it’s complete, it looks like it should have always been there.” It’s also a more complex product than some people might imagine. “An awning is not a simple cloth with rods,” adds Nate. “To give you an idea of how deeply we think about our awnings, we use a thread that is guaranteed to last the life of the awning. This is the type of quality that differentiates us from off-the-shelf products in big box stores.” Richard adds another point of differentiation. “We’re full-service. We use the phrase ‘under one roof,’ which means that we build our product, install it, maintain it, and store it under one roof. We don’t have to subcontract because we have experienced staff in each area of the manufacturing process.” During the fall and winter months you will find the Berges staff out taking down homeowners awnings, and it’s the ideal time to clean them. “We service our clients’ awnings at the end of the season,” said Richard. “We can clean and repair them if needed, and we have climate controlled buildings to store awnings until they’re ready to be put up again.” Sometimes just a ride through the neighborhood is enough to call attention to the service, which has gotten the Berges family ‘word of mouth’ referrals. “Generally, if we do one awning on a block, we’ll end up doing several because the neighbors will talk to each other about the experience,” said Richard. “We really pride ourselves in the relationships we build with our
customers,” said LuAnn. Working in the office, she’s the recipient of many of the customer calls and thank you notes. “Not only do we know our customers, we ask about their kids, and their families. In this way, our customers are our extended family.” That extended family is ever growing, as Berges Trenton Awning is preparing to move from Pleasantville to Somers Point. “We’re excited to be able to offer more of a retail space, as well as expand our reach deeper into Cape May County,” said Nate. “We can’t wait to introduce our products to a new family of clients.” In the meantime, they’re busy working on awnings that will create comfortable, beautiful spaces for the upcoming season. “We become part of people’s lives when we build an awning where they can entertain their friends, or sit and play with their grandchildren,” said Richard. “We become part of a restaurant’s success when they can extend outdoor seating. Why live at the shore if you can’t enjoy the outdoor spaces? We’re proud of our role in creating these areas where memories are being made.” With deep-seated roots in our local history, multiple generations of family operating the business, and a customer base that grows with each month, Berges Trenton Awning has established itself well in our area. Their history is a reminder of yesteryear when businesses were started with a dream, but continued on through the years with dedication, passion, and hard work. n
Above from left to right, a photo from the early 1930s. The little boy is Ronald Berges, 2nd generation. A few newspaper ads from 1928 and the 1960s. Work continues on the future location of Berges Trenton Awning in Somers Point.
Berges Trenton Awning 855.MY.AWNINGS BergesTrentonAwning.com
“We become part of people’s lives when we build that awning where they can entertain their friends, or sit and play with their grandchildren.”
LIFESTYLE | Winter 2016