Coast Safe & Lock Has Kept Mobile Safe for 50 years
Business View – April 2022 / Member Spotlight
Launched in 1972, Coast Safe & Lock is celebrating 50 years of service to the Gulf Coast. Co-founders Joe Pearson and Alvin McLeod were professional locksmiths and came together to open Coast Safe & Lock, a modest shop at the Loop in Mobile. After only four years, McLeod’s son, Dennis McLeod, joined the business at age 21. He apprenticed under the locksmiths to learn both the trade and the business so he could continue their legacy.
In 1988, Dennis McLeod became the president of Coast Safe & Lock.
“In this business, you cannot let just anyone learn the trade,” said McLeod. “They (the owners) knew I was trustworthy, trainable and that I already had experience running a company. I saw there was an opportunity for a long-term career.”
Under the younger McLeod’s leadership, Coast Safe & Lock has become well-known among commercial and industrial businesses in Mobile. The company’s trademark silver and red stickers can be found on the front door of countless retailers and government buildings throughout Mobile.
“I’m proud that we’ve built such a loyal customer base over the years,” said McLeod. “We have several return clients, and you just get to be friends after a while. It lets me know we’re doing things right, especially when we have to customize their installation.”
Even though the shop, the service, and the family name are still the same, a lot has changed in 50 years. Locksmiths are now professionally licensed and must complete continuing education units every year to keep up with growing technology.
“Today’s security involves biometric systems, cybersecurity and smart technology,” said McLeod. “A lot of businesses need so much more than just a cookie-cutter setup, so we really enjoy working with them to come up with the right security system. We install a lot of these for medical offices and pharmacies that need traceable access control.”
Some things have not changed in security. “Deadbolts,” said McLeod. “We still install a lot of deadbolts. As advanced as new technology is, deadbolt locks are great protection against forced entry.”
Even though McLeod is running a 21st century company, he attributes its success to his old-school values.
“Do unto others as you would have done unto you; keep your overhead low; and take care of your team,” said McLeod. “Even though we are a small company, we are proud to provide steady employment with benefits such as health, holiday and vacation for our employees. Some of our long-term and loyal employees have been with us for decades and they have become our extended family.”
Coast Safe & Lock has customers across the Gulf Coast and will continue to keep businesses safe in Mobile.
About the Mobile Chamber
The Mobile Chamber is a private business organization with more than 1,700 members and the economic developer for the City of Mobile and Mobile County. The Mobile Chamber’s focus is to provide members with networking, marketing and professional development opportunities, expand jobs in the area, develop the local workforce, advocate legislative priorities and offer resources to help small businesses grow. Additional information is on the Chamber’s website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.