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A morning with the team from Oltco highlights that this is not your average flooring company.
Upon walking into the office at Oltco, it becomes immediately clear this is no typical flooring business. For a start, just a two-minute stroll from the iconic Fistral beach, it’s not located on some anonymous industrial estate in the middle of nowhere. The office is sharp and contemporary, with AstroTurf on the floor of the breakout area, large wall-mounted screens, and plush designer seating to sink into with a fresh coffee while flicking through a magazine. This is all part of a very intentional desire to create an experience.
I’m greeted warmly by Director Johnny Pearce. Johnny’s business partner, Tom Stringer and his parents, started the family business around 12 years ago and Johnny has witnessed and helped it grow from a small, local firm in Newquay to a market- leading flooring specialist with a national reputation. Oltco is the place to go for beautiful driveways, and for transforming unloved balconies, patios and courtyards into stunning spaces, whether traditional or contemporary. It is also a leading provider of interior flooring, for both domestic and commercial settings. Oltco’s high profile clients include Wembley Stadium, top celebrity chefs and even spiritual leaders. But Johnny’s equally happy helping a local neighbour fix their drive.
You could attribute this success to the incredible expertise and skill of the team, to the hardwearing products that are high performance and low maintenance – stunning flooring that does the job, yet looks beautiful too. You could attribute it to the company’s 20-year guarantee on all resin bound flooring – the best on the market and a clear show of the confidence the company has in its offering. But these are all just part of the experience you can expect as standard. Johnny, takes a different outlook.
Essentially, it’s all about lifestyle: “Don’t work 100 hours and slog away… work 30 hours and feel contented!” It’s a simple, but extremely effective approach: If people love what they do and take pride in it, then this will translate into great results. The team at Oltco genuinely want you to get as much enjoyment and pleasure out of your new flooring or driveway as they get from doing a good job.
“You can’t benchmark people,” continues Johnny. “We wanted to support the community, and so have implemented the apprenticeship programme. To work for us, they need to learn our ethos… I’d rather hire someone with no skillset, but with the right ethics. After all, we can give them the skills, but they need to have the mentality that fits the business: a genuine person, who likes to have fun – a team player.”
It appears to be working: “It’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” says employee, Ben. “Tom and Johnny are fantastic to work for – I see them more as friends than employers.” Corinna adds: “It’s nice to be in a relaxed, comfortable environment. We have great team in the office which keeps it fun.”
A born-and-bred Newquay boy, Johnny is an avid supporter of everything Cornish. “We have some very talented people in our county,” he explains. “Cornwall is a real hot-bet of skill and talent. You don’t need to hire a designer or architect based in London, for example, when everything and everyone you need is right here. And, crucially, they understand the lifestyle too.”
So, with lifestyle and work/life balance so crucial to Johnny, one wonders what he does to unwind. “I love early morning running across Fistral beach,” he says, as well as eating out with the family at his favourite restaurant: Paul Harwood’s The Fish House.