This article appears in the November issue of 400 Life.
Andy Morrison’s roofing company, Hopewell Roofing & Restoration, was doing great when a friend in the industry asked him for a favor about six years ago.
His daughter had special needs and worked at Special Kneads and Treats, a bakery in Lawrenceville that employs people with special needs. Their roof was in bad shape, and Morrison’s friend wondered if he could help. Morrison liked the organization’s mission, but he was initially unsure of how to pull off the project.
So Morrison came up with a plan: If he could find companies to donate the materials, he would donate the labor. He called CRS Roofing Materials; they were in. He called Lookout Dumpsters; they were in, too.
Soon enough, the bakery had a brand-new roof, and Morrison had the blueprint for what is now “Roof of Hope,” an annual project to provide a new roof for a local person or family in need who couldn’t otherwise afford it. The company has completed five such projects at the same time that it’s continued to grow its own business and reputation in Forsyth County.
We talked with Morrison about his love of Coastal Oregon, his obsession with shellfish and how more companies could replicate the “Roof of Hope.”
What’s your favorite kind of music?
“I’m a really big fan nowadays of anything Chris Thule does, like Punch Brothers. He does everything from Bach sonnets, he does covers of White Stripes songs. Punch Brothers just completely reinvented the wheel of acoustic music.”
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
“Telluride Bluegrass Festival [in Colorado] once a year; hands down. But we love Coastal Oregon. It’s great. Cannon Beach is awesome. If you’ve seen “The Goonies,” that was filmed there.”
What’s your favorite food?
“I have gone on a complete and total shellfish bender the last seven years. I will seek out a restaurant just because one of the options is a chilled shellfish tower. If I see that on a menu, I will drive hours across town.”
How do you deal with the stress of owning your own business?
“We try to make humor of everything. We try to keep it funny. It’s a stressful job, and we don’t get to choose the kind of people we deal with. We get to deal with rich, poor, happy, sad, crazy, sane, drunk, sober — you name it, we deal with all of them, and it can be very trying at times.”
Why is “Roof of Hope” so important to Hopewell?
“I genuinely want to do it. If I could find every person in Forsyth County that genuinely needed our help, you’d better believe I’d make a list of them and go through it systematically and knock it out.”
— Story and photo by Brian Paglia