May 7, 2015
With our roots going back to 1958 – close to 60 years ago – Easton Pool & Spa has experienced and adopted many new materials and technologies and systems to build our pools – and to receive national recognition and awards for the quality and excellence we deliver.
For sure, we have become a lot more sophisticated in our methods than when our founder Henry Hobaica launched the enterprise with an inventory of tools that consisted of no more than a rake, a shovel, and a used pickup truck.
Indeed, A Rake, a Shovel and A Used Pickup Truck is the name of the book that Henry authored on his and the Hobaica family history and experience in the pool building business.
But still … even with all the advances … pool construction is never on autopilot.
Every pool we build requires manual labor – whether it is a concrete pool with a vinyl liner, which necessitates highly demanding labor … or whether it is a pool formed from gunite, a substance of sand, cement, and water sprayed through a pneumatic tube … which is also a process involving physical labor, if not as intense as when working with concrete and vinyl.
There is no better person to testify to this than Robert Hobaica, Vice President and co-owner of Easton Pool & Spa. Robert heads up and focuses on the on-site construction end of things.
“I actually started building pools back in high school – back in 1980,” said Robert. “I was involved in a work study program at Oliver Ames High School, in which I got out of school at noon and would go to work helping out my dad.”
Robert graduated from Oliver Ames High School in 1982, and went on to Framingham State College from which he graduated in 1986.
While on break from college, during the late spring and early summer, he worked full time for the family business.
Robert was always directly involved in the digging and excavating and grading and leveling of ground, and the pouring of concrete, to make the foundation of the pool.
“Excavating and pouring concrete was and remains very labor intensive – more so than working with gunite,” said Robert, who, himself, operates excavating equipment on Easton Pool & Spa jobs.
“You know, I think back to a day in the mid 1990s – at a time when we hired from a reliable employment firm in Brockton many hardworking day laborers.
“But it didn’t always work out. Like that day – when we hired two laborers who helped us pour concrete for a pool in Hanover. Well we got done with that job around noon – and then headed to Mansfield to pour another pool.
“And, you know, I am driving this big truck, and I have two of these laborers – whom I had not worked with before – sitting in the cab with me. So we are in Brockton, and we stop at a stoplight on Legion Parkway … and one of these guys opens the passenger side door, and both of the guys jump out and run off; they just took off. I guess they had enough of pouring concrete.”
In 2010, Easton Pool & Spa added gunite pools to its inventory of offerings.
“Of the pools we build, the split is about 75 percent concrete, and 25 percent gunite,” said Robert. “Right now, Easton Pool & Spa has 30 pools under construction across eastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod and the Islands, with nine being built on Martha’s Vineyard alone.”
Through the years, Robert Hobaica has been a lead innovator for Easton Pool & Spa.
It was in 2001, that he advised and pushed for the company to drill for its own water to fill the pools we build. This initiative has resulted in the highly successful Atlantic Pool Water Services, Inc., the leading provider of pool water in southeastern Massachusetts.
Robert will often stay and work on site with one job from start to completion – yet he also will travel across many sites to inspect and monitor construction.
He remains focused and motivated.
“I’ve been with Easton Pool & Spa a long time, and I continue to be energized to do my best, and help the people with whom I work do their best, every day and in every pool we build.
“I am fortunate to do this work – and to receive a tremendous amount of satisfaction and fulfillment from it.”