Change in ownership at Cavalcade Color Lab
Longtime employee takes over the reins from Spring family
IT’S ALL YOURS:
Don Spring Jr. makes the symbolic gesture of turning the keys to the Cavalcade Color Lab store in Huntsville over to its new owner, Kelly Catton. Catton has been a longtime employee at the business, starting there when she was a summer student.
HUNTSVILLE - There’s a changing of the guard at Cavalcade Color Lab in Huntsville.
After 30 years of ownership by the Spring family, the business is now in the hands of new boss and longtime employee Kelly Catton.
The official transfer of the business happened about a month ago, but the deal to sell the business had actually been a year-long process, according to Catton.
“Don (Spring Jr.) approached me almost a year ago with this opportunity and I did put some thought into it, and eventually I said yes. It is a great opportunity and such an interesting business that is constantly changing with new technology that you can do just about anything with your photos. I also enjoy interacting with the customers, such as listening to their interesting stories about their photographs.”
Catton’s tale of taking over the business is one of those feel-good types of stories. She first started working as a summer student at Cavalcade more than 10 years ago, eventually finding full-time employment with the company. There isn’t anything associated with the business that she has not experienced, which according to Spring made her the ideal candidate to take the reins.
“On business, not enough people have a succession plan. So they work and work and then get sick, bored or tired of it. I knew that in five years from now I would no longer want to do this and would want to move on. Also, you appreciate the hard work people have done for you over the years. Kelly has been here since she was a kid and has achieved a lot here so I pulled her aside one day and asked her if she wanted to own the business.”
Spring said that he and Catton have worked out a financial arrangement for her to purchase the company over the next two years, and he will remain on board to help with the transition.
“What I noticed about Kelly from the day she started with us is that she never missed a day of work, never complained, never asked for anything. You ask her to do something she figures it out. She took courses on her own time to do all the things you need to understand (the business), she worked in our lab, our accounting, our retail area … she was so flexible. I thought that since she was doing everything, why shouldn’t she own the business.”
He added that while he will be at Cavalcade Color Lab some of the time, he is far from getting ready to put his feet up and relax.
Spring will be taking a more active role with Foto Source Canada, a buying group he founded with seven other businesses more than 30 years ago. Now the group has grown to 250 stores nationwide, and he will take over the reins of president.
“I spend about two or three days in Toronto working with Foto Source and the rest of my time up here. It’s a great opportunity for her and for me, as I can slow down and still be involved to help transition the business,” he said.
Catton said that she doesn’t have any immediate changes planned for her new business, adding that she plans to keep the company’s strong customer service moving forward.
She said there will be enough changes for her and the staff to deal with in keeping up with the evolving technology that dominates the photography world today.
“If the industry continues to change, we will follow along with it,” she said.