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Bledsoe Companies Celebrate Their 50th Anniversary

Bledsoe Company Anniversary
July 31, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.

By Cass Jacoby, RCS Reporter.  

The legacy of Ether Bledsoe and how he grew a two-person painting company into the thriving business is today. 

You have probably seen the work of the Bledsoe Company. They have done projects for some of the biggest American businesses in the nation, from Red Lobster, Outback Steakhouse and Holiday Inn, to UPS, the St. Louis Zoo, Shell Oil, British Petroleum (BP), Boeing and numerous colleges and parks.  

In 1970, in St. Louis, Missouri, Ether Bledsoe started his house painting company and grew the company from a two-person painting business into a company that had grown to nearly 100 employees and generated well over one million dollars a year in revenue by 1980. Since the founding, the Bledsoe Companies have earned a highly respected reputation for top-quality service, proven performance, unmatched workmanship and superior customer relations. 

Ether Bledsoe was also a founding member of the Minority Contractors Association of Missouri/Kansas (MO-KAN) in 1974. The organization was formed to ensure that Blacks received justified participation on local, state and federal construction projects. Ether served as the president and chairman of the board of MO-KAN for many years. MO-KAN received national attention for the 1999 shut down of Interstate 70 in St. Louis for the lack of construction jobs for Black businesses and individuals.  

Today, Bledsoe thrives as one of the biggest Black-owned providers of construction services and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Now in the company’s second generation, Bledsoe has adapted to better serving their customers, and stood the test of time by offering more than painting, but also waterproof roof coating and building maintenance services.  

Since 1992, Bledsoe has offered a "paint-on" system that restores roofs with a new waterproof membrane. Bledsoe International says the system can be applied onto flat, shingle and metal roofs. The system also prevents the need to tear-off the existing roof surface, which saves a property owner a tremendous amount of money. Bledsoe did its first roof restoration project for St. Louis University in 1992. Since then, the company has become a leading applicator of roof coatings throughout the entire United States. 

After 50 years of service, we celebrate the Bledsoe Companies and legacy of Ether Bledsoe for building St. Louis’s first minority construction firm to have revenues in the millions of dollars. 

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