How SOMAY Came To Be a Top Roof Coating Manufacturer
Somay Products, Inc. is a roof coating manufacturer started by a young entrepreneur who had moved to Miami from Columbus, Ohio, Sy Greene, his wife, Myrtle, and his brother Bob. In the early 1920's, they served as a distributor of raw materials used to make paints, and the company was known as Southern Manufacturer's Agency - thus the derivation of the name "SOMAY." In those days, many experienced painters would buy linseed oil, rosin, turpentine, dry powder pigments of various colors, and personally mix these ingredients together by hand in a bucket or drum to make the "paint" or coating for a building's exterior or interior surface. This was a full quarter-century prior to the invention of waterborne, so-called "latex," wall paints.
When the disastrous Hurricane of 1926 struck Miami in the fall, it destroyed many buildings completely. Other buildings had their roofs blown off, and others were luckier & the building was still standing, and the roof was still partially intact, but it was severely damaged, leaking, and in need of immediate repair to try to preserve what was remaining of the original structure. All access to Miami via either road or the railroad was impassable & the City of Miami was stranded and without supplies to make repairs.
The city fathers, desperate for waterproof roof coating materials to try to save the city's buildings, prevailed on the Greene family to help. There were no roof coating distributors in town at that time and Southern Manufacturer's Agency had never manufactured anything & they only warehoused, sold and distributed paint maker's raw material ingredients. But, since their Miami warehouse was full of raw materials, Sy Green and Myrtle dumped the ingredients from their warehouse inventory into an empty 55-gallon steel drum and mixed them together with a wooden 2" x 4" piece of lumber. Thus, SOMAY began its journey as a roof coating manufacturer when they made the first batch of a waterproofing coating that could be applied on top of hurricane damaged roofs to help stop leaks, waterproof and protect and preserve the city's buildings. And, as the story goes, it was that day that the seeds were planted that made SOMAY a top roof coating distributor. Since that day, SOMAY has never stopped making waterproofing coatings for more than three quarters of a century - now more than 86 years.
Southern Manufacturer's Agency and its related marketing company, Somay Products, Inc., were purchased in 1973 by a group of investors led by Garth R. Parker, who has served as the company's second President ever since.
Over the years, SOMAY has grown as a roof coating manufacturer and developed into a pioneer and leader in the waterproofing and paint industry. SOMAY developed the first mass produced and mass marketed so-called "latex" paints, which are waterborne, and thus easy to use to paint the interior and exterior walls of residences, with easy clean-up using just soap and water. And for many years, SOMAY's principal customer for these new products was Sears, Roebuck & Co.
During the war years, SOMAY closed its local Dade County architectural paint stores and concentrated all its resources it could provide as a roof coating distributor on providing paint for the military & shipping over 3,000 gallons per day to Fort Benning, in Georgia. After the war, SOMAY was the first paint company in the country to start advertising paint on the newest media - television!
In the late 1960's and early 1970's, SOMAY pioneered the use of newly available acrylic latex elastomeric resin systems to make easy to use roof and wall waterproofing coatings. SOMAY has an enviable reputation in the roof coating manufacturer industry for manufacturing the finest available roof elastomeric waterproofing system, which it sells under its patented trademark name, SOMAY "ROOF MASTIC"®, SOMAY's largest selling, highest volume, and most widely distributed coating product, shipped all around the world.
Since the late 1980's and early 1990's, SOMAY has received kudos from around the world for its unique 100% solids, polyamine epoxy coating, SOMAY/ Underwater Technologies® "HYCOTE" 151, a paint which can be effectively applied underwater to such surfaces as and Coast Guard vessels, major petroleum offshore oil production platforms, pipelines, shipping docks and piers, even the Panama Canal. It is the only product in the world which has US Navy approval for application underwater to US Navy vessels.
SOMAY's latest pioneering efforts have resulted in the introduction and commercialization in the late 1990's and early 2000's of SOMAY "STERI-SHIELD" Fungistatic Paint, tested and proven by independent laboratories to be the most effective paint available for use by homeowners as well as institutional, commercial, and industrial property maintenance professionals to resist the growth of harmful mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria on the "STERI-SHIELD" paint surface.
Now, after more than three-quarters of a century as a paint and roof coating manufacturer that has helped to protect, preserve and beautify property, SOMAY continues to work with customers from around the world in helping to make our world a better, more attractive place to live.