Almost 80 years after its founding, Bloomsdale Excavating is still a respected, family-owned business. Led by President Scott Drury and his experienced management team, the company is founded on principles of customer service, safety, and performance.
The history of Bloomsdale goes back to 1946. Founding the company soon after returning from World War II, Marvin Drury named the business after the southeast Missouri town where it is located. Excavating gravel from creeks and delivering it to local farmers soon led to Drury taking on bigger works, including digging basements.
Once joined by his brother Ralph, the two began taking on municipal utility projects, such as drilling wells and installing public water supplies and sewage collection systems in Missouri’s central and southern areas.
Now in its third generation, family-led Bloomsdale’s Scott Drury and team of about 150 remain humble about Bloomsdale Excavating and its many achievements over the years.
“It’s important for us to stay grounded, and not put ourselves above others,” he says, adding, “I don’t even like using the word ‘employees,’ because I don’t view the people I work with every day as our employees; they are just family members. I don’t treat anyone here any differently than I do my siblings.”
Some of the highest praise Scott Drury has received about the company has come from others who left other businesses to work at Bloomsdale. Recently, too, some contractors came to the company’s office for a meeting. “They all commented on how they could sense our culture,” Drury smiles. “Some of them even said, ‘If you are ever hiring, call me, I’d love to work here.’”
Barely out of his teens when he started with the company, Scott has spent 32 years with Bloomsdale, taking on roles including Vice President of Operations, Regional Manager, and General Superintendent of Grading and Utility Construction. Today, as President, he’s proud to be responsible for Bloomsdale’s vision, core values, and the reputation of the business and staff with customers.
Like others in the company, he is active in the community and industry organizations. These include membership in the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)—including serving as 2021’s Chairman of the Board (Missouri)—the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership, the Missouri Limestone Producers Association, and supporting Pony Bird and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, among others.
Expanding its services through the years, Bloomsdale’s work includes excavating, grading, demolition, concrete, site utilities, and mining services. Known as the Midwest’s premier excavation and grading contractor, Bloomsdale’s footprint encompasses its home state of Missouri as well as Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
No matter the project type—commercial, residential, energy, environmental, public, federal, project development, or mining and quarrying—all works are carried out with the highest degree of safety protocols. Drury remembers his father Tom Drury’s work in the late 1990s, when he used a safety program to unite the company. Back then, some crew members wore hard hats while others had ball caps, and safety vests were a rarity.
“We were one of the first in our region to initiate a full-time hard hat and safety vest policy company-wide,” says Drury. “This turned into providing the folks in the field with orange or yellow t-shirts. We were known as the ‘people in the orange coats’ in the wintertime. This was noticed by others and quickly became a trend on projects we were working on.”
Historically working in the mining industry, Bloomsdale became the first contractor to have a partnership with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). In fact, Tom Drury has a contractor award named after him. “This is not an active partnership any longer, but it worked,” says Drury.
One of Bloomsdale’s partnerships today is with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a relationship that supports the company’s training needs regarding Department of Transportation (DOT) standards, recognizing impairment on job sites, and holding drivers accountable. “This partnership helped produce our Vehicle Safety Policy, which I have shared with numerous companies throughout the years,” Drury shares.
Bloomsdale’s current main initiative is the reintroduction of a safety committee which represents the entire company, including laborers, equipment operators, mechanics, and supervisors. It is headed up by Safety Director Brian Bauman. It is a concept the company had success with many years ago, and helped bring its safety culture to where it is today.
Committee members are recognized on projects and meet as a committee quarterly. “We have an abundance of new hires not familiar with our philosophy on safety, our history, and expectations,” explains Drury. “We felt it was imperative to indoctrinate the future of our company properly and this is the method we have chosen.”
Safety pays off, as Bloomsdale Excavating’s safety performance is known as one of the best in the industry. According to the company, its Experience Modification Rate (EMR) has consistently remained below .77 for the past five years.
One of Bloomsdale’s largest recent projects is the Fort Leonard Wood Hospital replacement where it’s working as a subcontractor for JE Dunn. The massive project is next to the existing hospital in Missouri, which will be demolished, and is nearing completion.
Over the past three years, Bloomsdale’s scope of work on the hospital has encompassed mass excavation, structural excavation for the building, grading, utility installation (sanitary, sewer, water), and concrete flatwork.
“A long project for us is 18 months to two years; we usually turn things over in six to 12 months,” says Drury. At present, the company is completing a runway rehabilitation project at St. Louis Lambert International Airport as a subcontractor to Millstone Weber (MW). “This project had an aggressive schedule. Our scope of work was removing the existing runway, grading, and storm sewer installation.”
From excavation to grading, and mining services to demolition, the team at Bloomsdale believes in treating all its customers with respect. For the company, respect begins with hiring people who uphold Bloomsdale’s Core Values. These include checking egos at the door, setting the bar, a positive attitude, and “figuring it out.”
As President, much of Drury’s time is spent ensuring this company culture is maintained. Of all Core Values, he says, number one is critical. “If you are not a humble person and all we hear, is ‘I, me, my, mine,’ then you will stick out like a sore thumb here,” he says. “You likely won’t succeed in our company if everything you do and say is motivated by your ego. I strive to have a drama-free workplace and a large ego will always breed drama.”
Continuing to maintain its commitment to service and upholding its values, Bloomsdale Excavating will remain family-owned. The future, says Scott Drury, holds organic growth. Unlike in years past, the business doesn’t have any expansion plans and wants to be profit-driven, not revenue-driven.
“We are enjoying being selective with what projects we pursue and targeting our sales efforts to the clientele we feel make the best fit for Bloomsdale Excavating and that client,” shares Drury. “I have watched our competition hit the road and travel all over the country in recent years, something we did many years ago when no one else locally was traveling. We will travel for the right project, and the right customer.”