Pennsylvania entrepreneur Glenn Bostock did not hesitate when choosing Kingston as the location for his second factory several years ago. He had fallen in love with the area during his childhood and a new business venture was a good excuse to spend more time there. So he joined the city’s engineering and metal work community.
A self-taught designer with a penchant for fine woodworking, Glenn had been upgrading and remodelling the interiors of elevator cars since the early 1990s. Global giant Otis Elevator was an early client.
The company’s specialty turned into a solid business over the years and led him to a new niche product — small work pods for open-concept offices.
The initial pod idea took shape in 2016 when Glenn met an office-space consultant who suggested using his elevator car expertise to build portable, soundproof mini workstations, phone booths and meeting rooms. Careful design and standard sizes allowed for easy customization of the units with lots of frame, wall panel and flooring options. Thousands of SnapCab pods found their way into Amazon warehouses, government and corporate offices, libraries and onto noisy factory floors.
The Kingston pod business had grown to $7 million US/year and was preparing to expand production when COVID drove the world’s office workers into their homes. But, instead of panicking, Glenn pivoted into new lines.
SnapCab re-designed its 4-person meeting rooms into one-person offices and divided their two-person meeting rooms into “isolation pods” that had glass panels to protect users from each other — equipping them with individual HEPA air filters.
At temporary clinics, the “isolation pods” were adapted (with one-way glass) into consultation rooms. Larger pods became portable examination rooms. “Testing pods” with sealed, external armholes can be used at COVID testing sites.
Instead of shutting down because of COVID, SnapCab kept its 40 employees busy and found a way to heed the prime minister’s call to action.
“My motto is: Be kind. Be authentic. Be useful,” says Glenn.