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About Us

Anthony "Red" DaCatoAnthony "Red" DaCato and his wife, Ida, moved to Orlando in 1952. Shortly thereafter they began A-1 Block Corporation with Red and two employees. Red manufactured concrete block three days a week and delivered block three days a week depending on demand. Ida was technically a fourth employee, but she was not on the payroll. She would spend Florida days without air conditioning, sitting in her car doing the bookkeeping because they had no office. As time went on, they conservatively grew their business from one plant to five plants under a single roof. This successful team worked together for over fifty-two years. Now, the company is managed by the third generation of the family with locations in Lake Wales, Sanford, and Orlando.

 

Below is a reconstruction of a 1976 article written by Sandy Herod which was featured in the magazine, Modern Concrete.

 

History

An overall view of part of A-1 Block's facilities in Orlando, Fla. Unfortunately, the outstanding maintenance shop and support areas do not show. At left, are the aggregate and cement supply installations for the model 20 Columbia machine; while at the right are those for the paired Model 22 machines.

Product quality, service boosts business growth

A-1 Block Corp. built
reputation on "A-1 service"

Transport

A-1 Block's growth has been based on customer service. This company truck hauls block, other masonry supplies and tows a "pup" with a forklift to provide maximum on-site services to the contractor.

By Sandy Herod

The name of the A-1 Block Corp. of Orlando, Fla., is more than just the identification of a business enterprise – it represents a business philosophy plus the inspiring dedication of a husband and wife team to a joint effort. That effort is appropriately reflected in the climb of production capability of the company from 1,000 block per day at its founding to the present 20,000 units per day capacity.

Obviously, Anthony "red" DaCato and his wife Ida got A-1 off to a start on what is today considered a small basis. However, they proved that their motto "A-1 Service" was not idle words, but included both product quality and unswerving consideration of customers' needs; and that adherence to that motto would lead to growth. It did – to the extent of a 20-1 increase, almost equal to the years of A-1's existence.

 

History 1
History 2

LEFT: All raw materials are received in truck shipments. For the paired Model 22 machines, aggregate and sand are conveyed from loader-fed hoppers to the handling system supplying the mixer feed. ABOVE: The automatic batching system incorporates a 54-cu. Ft. mixer, right. It serves both of the Model 22 Columbia machines.