CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Gropen is a design and build firm that says it puts love, care and creativity into its products.

Almost two decades ago, T.J. Ronayne took control as the company’s president. It’s located in Charlottesville, and it is now celebrating the company’s 40th anniversary.

He says he had no idea what the company would become.

“We are pretty unique in the industry that we design and fabricate all on one facility, from raw materials to finished goods,” he said.

Ronayne says the company is much more than a design and build firm.

“We obviously want to be a community member and support our local institutions, so we work with higher educations, such as [the] University of Virginia,” said Ronayne. “We work a lot with Monticello and some of the more historic facilities in the area.”

However, it hasn’t been easy, especially the last few years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gropen has faced numerous hardships but it had a surprising outcome.

“There was a little bit of fracturing of our team, but with very good, communication, we have actually gotten stronger, and now that we are back under the same roof, I think we are better prepared to see what’s coming up in 2023 and beyond,” said Ronayne.

Additionally, he says the company owes a lot of its success to Virginia National Bank.

“When some of our larger institutional clients have additional needs, they have enabled us to get that equipment to meet their demands, and enabled us to add critical employees to keep up with their needs also,” added Ronayne.

Gropen shares a lot of the same values as the bank.

“They’re responsive, they’re very communicative and they are very in tune to what we are trying to do as a company, in terms of our purposeful growth,” said Ronayne.