By Cynthia Gellis
Jay Caffey, owner, and principal of JMC Builders has been building things since he was twelve years old. He studied industrial arts at Long Beach State before beginning his career in construction doing cabinetry and finish carpentry. When he started working as a general contractor, Jay specialized in renovating historic, Spanish-style homes, bringing them up-to-date with modern amenities while preserving their historic integrity. Being historically correct in his renovation work is important to Jay and he has been recognized for his preservation efforts by Long Beach Heritage.
As his career progressed, his portfolio expanded to include contemporary spec homes and mid-century modern styles. For Jay, the principals at local firms Jeannette Architects, Sennikoff Architects, Inc., and Interstices Architecture have been his mentors in the craft of building. With each new project, he recalls the advice of one architect to “let the home tell you what it’s supposed to do.”
Cultivating strong relationships with his clients and vendors is his priority. “Long Beach is a big city, but it’s a small town. I want to be able to walk down Second Street without worrying about who I’ll run into.”
Jay has lived in Long Beach since 1977 and in Belmont Heights since 1990. He and his wife, Diane, met at Panama Joe’s one Grand Prix weekend and they were married eighteen months later. Diane takes care of the books and other administrative responsibilities at JMC, but for the sake of a happy marriage, they stagger the times that they are in the office.
Away from work, Jay loves to cook. Cooking takes him completely out of work mode although he is as passionate about the presentation of the food he makes as he is about the details of his construction projects. His signature in all his dishes is a little heat and a little sweet. Maybe that can be applied to his work portfolio as well.