Glenwood Mason Supply Company
In Canarsie, Brooklyn on Glenwood Road lies a cornerstone of the local community— Glenwood Mason Supply Company, a business specializing in a range of masonry materials. Brooklyn native Constance “Connie” Cincotta serves as the President, following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather who established their own masonry businesses over a century ago. Their woman-owned factory thrives on resilience, innovation, and sustainability under Connie’s leadership—the third-generation leader continuing her family’s legacy.
The story of Glenwood Mason is not just about building blocks; it’s a journey through generations, war, and the ever-evolving landscape of New York City. Connie shares the rich history of her family’s masonry lineage, tracing back to her grandfather.
“My grandfather started the business in Brooklyn in 1922. He was an immigrant from Sicily,” says Connie. “And as things went back in those days, at a very young age, my father started working with my grandfather.”
In the early days, Connie’s father and grandfather crafted concrete blocks mostly by hand. Because of good sand in Brooklyn, Connie’s father and grandfather used to dig sand across the street from their original factory for use in their bricks. With a little machine assistance, the bricks were formed and left to dry in the sun.
During World War II, Connie’s father joined the war efforts overseas. “The business closed when my dad went to war. Family legend has it that he sent his poker earnings and his pay from the Navy to my grandmother,” shares Connie. Upon her father’s return from abroad, he and her grandfather reopened the family business, this time with Connie’s father at the helm.
Connie had always held a keen interest in joining the family business, a desire met with skepticism from her father who saw it as a challenging path for his daughter. Undeterred by the difficulties, Connie persisted. After graduating from Colgate University, she expressed her wish to work for the business, but her father still wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea. Determined to explore her passion, Connie secured a job with a brick company named Ibstock in England, working in their London office. This experience, intended as a trial, turned out to be pivotal, solidifying her determination to pursue the family business. Ibstock was ahead in marketing bricks, offering Connie an eye-opening perspective on the industry. After a year abroad, armed with newfound knowledge, she returned, obtained her master’s degree, and opened her own business—Glenwood Mason Supply Company.
While building her success, Connie’s father unfortunately suffered a severe stroke, rendering him unable to run his business. Connie found herself managing both his and her own enterprises simultaneously. Juggling the closure of his business and the growth of hers, Connie navigated the complexities of managing both businesses until his had to be closed permanently due to his health.
Today, Glenwood Mason has transformed into a modern facility that manufactures an impressive 35,000 to 40,000 blocks per day. This stands in stark contrast to the 210 blocks that were promoted in their Sears Roebuck catalog listing during the time when her grandfather was leading the business.
One of the key aspects that make Glenwood Mason unique is its commitment to sustainability. Connie pioneered the injection of CO2 into their blocks, a groundbreaking initiative that not only enhances the block’s quality but also acts as a significant step towards reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. In a partnership with a forward-thinking developer, they are sequestering CO2 emitted from buildings and using it in their manufacturing process, creating a circular economy within the heart of Brooklyn. Furthermore, Glenwood Mason embraces sustainability by incorporating recycled glass particles as a cement replacement in their blocks.
Glenwood Mason Supply Company serves a diverse clientele, from large mason contractors handling projects like Hudson Yards and the World Trade Center to homeowners looking to enhance their properties. With over 90 employees representing around 15 different countries, the company mirrors the cultural mosaic of New York City. “My employees and the best part of this part of my job,” says Connie. “We just had our annual Glenwood soccer tournament—or World Cup tournament—where all the different sets of employees play against each other. My workforce is pretty diverse. I think out of the whole 96 maybe 10 of us are actually born in the United States. And I think that’s one of the things that makes us so great.”
As Connie envisions the future, she sees opportunities in further embracing sustainability, such as installing solar panels on their building. Her focus isn’t on expansion for the sake of growth, but on continuous improvement and innovation at their current scope. Connie Cincotta’s leadership ensures that Glenwood Mason Supply Company legacy continues, not just as a family business but as an integral part of what makes up NYC—literally.