An Exclusive Interview with Jon Campion of European Kitchen & Bath
Hello John. Please give us a short introduction.
My name is Jon Campion and I am the owner of European Kitchen & Bath (EKB). Family owned business serving the Treasure Coast for 25 years in Stuart and in our 14th year in Vero Beach.
Each EKB showroom is 3,000 square ft. of top quality kitchen and bath fixtures from such companies like Blanco, Franke, Hansgrohe, Brizo, Toto, Newport Brass Victoria & Albert. Just a few of the manufacturer’s we purchase directly from.
I come from a family of natural sales people and those who know the family well couldn’t agree more. I like to tell people that Florida is my eighth state of residence. Many people ask if my dad was in the service and I casually answer “No, he was a sales guy who made a lot of money for other people.”
When and why did you move to the Treasure Coast?
Mom and dad had lived in Palm City since 1987. They started the sink store in 1992 to have something to do after “Dick” retired for a second time at 62 years of age. I was working a corporate job in Nashville, TN (7th state) selling kitchens to McDonald’s all over the country and seemed to be flying each week on Southwest airlines. One of the fortunate people in the air on 9/11, I was between Baltimore and Chicago when the pilot put the airbrakes on over Columbus, OH-saying nothing. Landing in Chicago’s Midway Airport as scheduled and still no indication of what was going, I hopped on my Hertz rental car and headed to a meeting with McDonald’s. Finally, I figured out what was unfolding listening to the car radio. Nevertheless, I was one of the fortunate ones because I had a rental car and hotel room.
The next day, the six- hour drive to Nashville set the stage for changes in every one’s life. I worked with my older brother Tom and a few months later, I suggested I might want to simplify my life, move to Florida, and buy mom and dad’s business. I never thought I’d live in Florida, just visit my parent’s a couple times a year. Within the year, Treasure Coast here we come.
Please tell us about your family.
I married my physical therapist, Dee Dee Nice, in Richmond, VA where I lived. I recommend this to anyone because of how special and caring PT’s are. We have two sons, Sam and Ben. Sam, 28 years old, recently married the new Mrs. Campion, Stephi. He works for Team Disney in Orlando and we are very proud of what he has achieved. Ben, 25 years old, graduated from UCF like Sam and is planning to teach English as a second language in another country.
I’m the youngest of three siblings. Jill is the oldest and has worked at EKB for 18 years. Brother Tom, 3 years older, lives in Nashville and loves his corporate job which takes him around the world several times a year.
Mom and dad who were instrumental in providing us so many opportunities in our lives, both passed away from illness and broken hearts in 2015, six months apart. They both had the coolest obituaries telling their stories. We couldn’t be any prouder or more grateful for what they accomplished personally and what they did for us. I’m proud to say, I have no regrets in my 60 years.
What do you love about what you do?
I love seeing customers making themselves happy fixing up their home and letting us know how much they love our products, staff, and the experience. We have had so many people over the years. It’s fun when they come back again and again. Second and third generations, who would have thought!
The biggest thing Dee Dee and I love is knowing that we put food on the table and support 10 families on the Treasure Coast (our employees).
What are your future plans?
Try to leave the stores in better shape than I found them. We would like to travel and make sure Dee Dee gets to see her big family in Virginia more, since I moved her to Nashville and then South Florida. Looking forward to grandkids and watching Sam and Ben work and play their way through life.
What do you do outside of European Kitchen & Bath?
Well, I used to play a lot of golf and go to the beach, but I stay busy with several business organizations on the Treasure Coast. I was the past President of the Palm City Chamber of Commerce and am still on the Board of Directors. I am President of the Martin County Business Exchange (MCBE), a 25- year networking organization, and the Treasure Coast Builders Association (TCBA) Board of Directors. Additionally, I usher and read monthly at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Stuart and get involved when needed in other areas, along with Dee Dee.
What is your philosophy on business and life?
I like to say go big or go home, but it’s too cliché’. Treat people like you want to be treated. Be a person of excellence. Give back to the community. If you are a giver, things should take care of themselves. Family and health are the most important things we have. So remember, we are only here for a short time, make the most of what you have, try to be positive and don’t give more away than what you sell.
For any questions about our services please call Jon Campion at: 772-221-3990 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See our display ad on page 29 in this current edition of iCare. Visit our Showroom today at: 197 SE Monterrey Rd, Stuart, FL 34994