Buist Incorporated was started in 1938 by David Buist who emigrated from Holland in the 1800’s. Before moving to the United States he built the Castle of Gloms in England which is still owned by the Queen Mother of England. Once in the United States, David started the plumbing business and obtained his citizenship in 1896. Around the turn of the century Buist Plumbing had 100 men and 100 helpers working on the mansions in the Bernardsville area.
David and his wife had three children, two sons Walter and Ronald and a daughter Jean. When he died he left the business to Walter and Jean as Ronald had established his own business in Neptune to accommodate McGuire Air Force Base. When Walter died Jean was sole owner of Buist Incorporated. Later after the war Ronald passed away and left the Neptune business to his wife and son F. David Buist.
F. David left the business in Neptune and purchased Buist Inc. from his aunt Jean. F. David ran Buist Inc. for several years but became more and more interested in the Virgin Islands. He then sold 90% of the business to Michael Freund and Robert Bennett in 1968 and started a plumbing business in Tortola, BVI.
Michael Freund was an engineer at Permacel, a Johnson & Johnson Company, and Robert Bennett had his own plumbing contract company and worked almost exclusively for Johnson & Johnson for many years. Buist Incorporated grew from $250,000 in sales in 1968 to approximately $1,000,000 in sales in 1980.
In the early 1980’s Michael and David purchased Robert Bennett’s interest and within 5 years Michael purchased David’s interest in the business as well. Michael was sole owner until recently when his two sons Robert Freund and Thomas Freund as well as the company Controller William Koncar began acquiring stock as part of the succession planning. Sales volume is currently in the $13,000,000 range.