COMING HOME: Cross and Brawner open up own business to stay close to family

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 19, 2019

After several years working on an offshore deepwater oil rig, Andalusia native Garrett Cross partnered with his best friend, Corey Brawner to open Cross Spray Foam and Insulation LLC., so they could spend more time with family.

“Honestly, God brought me off the rig,” Cross said. “I got saved, he brought me home and I got baptized. When I got back, Corey and I sat down at Big Mike’s and I explained the idea to him and I asked him to partner with me.”

Brawner said that he was tired of being away from his family and that is why he got off the rig.

“I decided to come home and take a job in Ft. Rucker working on helicopters,” Brawner said. “Then the opportunity became available for Garrett and I to go in on a spray rig together.”

The two found out about spray foam insulation from being out on the oilrigs.

“They were doing it on pipelines out there,” Cross said. “So, we started doing some research on it. We noticed that everybody north of the Mason-Dixon line had only foam in their homes. There were no batts or blown in insulation. That’s why we decided to bring it down here.”

Now, the duo travels all over the southeast providing spray foam insulation.

“We are all over the southeast,” Cross said. “From Mobile, Georgia, all of northwest Florida, Birmingham, Phenix City and Mississippi. We travel so we don’t have to go back and work the job that we had. We don’t want to go offshore. We want to be at home with our families.”

Cross said that despite still being a small company, they are steadily growing every day.

“It started with just my nephew and I,” Cross said. “But now we have about four to five guys working with us now. Corey sets up how the crews run, and then once we finish one job, we have a crew behind us as a cleanup crew to pick up after us when we finish. While we are spraying, the cleanup crew goes to the next job to prep it. That way we will be ready to go when we get there.”

Why get spray foam instead of the regular insulation? Cross said that it cuts the customer’s electricity bill in half when they finish.

“We went into several attics, took a temperature gun and in the middle of the day it would be reading 120 to 160 degrees,” Cross said. “After we applied the foam and remove all of the old insulation, you’re looking at the temperature going down to at least eight degrees higher than the temperature on your thermostat. So, if your thermostat is set at 72 degrees, your attic will be 80 degrees. What that does, is takes power bills and completely cuts them in half, if not more. We have seen it do way more and we have seen it do only half. It depends on the size of the house. Not only does it help with your power bill, but it also improves the structural integrity of your house.”

The two Andalusia natives agreed that they are proud to be from a community that loves and supports them so much.

“I have seen this support before,” Brawner said. “Because my dad operated and owned his own business here in Andalusia for 10 or more years. That’s the thing about Andalusia; the whole city seems to get behind you because everyone knows who you are. They are willing to put your name out there and use your business because you’re from Andalusia.”