The story of The Arbors starts with E.A. Gralia Construction, founded in 1966 by our grandparents, Ernie Gralia Jr. and his wife Rose Marie Gralia. Gralia Construction built more than 5,500 housing units, as well as schools, a hotel, nursing homes and several housing developments for the elderly. Their children, Ernie and Carole, along with their spouses, Bonnie and Gary, worked for the company.
The early stages of our family’s involvement in elderly housing started in 1979, with the construction of Pheasant Hill Village. It consisted of housing for the elderly and affordable family housing. Shortly thereafter, Wilbraham Commons was built. Managing Pheasant Hill Village and Wilbraham Commons laid the groundwork for pursuing assisted living.
Ernie III had a passion for real estate development and assisted living was the logical next step. Carole became the management operations person for the elderly housing complexes, various condominium developments and subsequently became the lead operations person for the assisted living businesses.
Pheasant Hill Village and Wilbraham Commons made it clear that seniors need to keep moving and have a purpose in life. Activities programs were set up by staff and many were run by us, the family’s third generation. Monthly meals were prepared by the residents with staff assistance. The meals were delivered to residents who were unable to attend the dinner and leftovers were given to residents that needed food. If we saw a resident failing, we called their family and followed up with caretakers. This knowledge and experience proved invaluable entering the assisted living business.
The third generation was raised with a well-established work ethic and the drive to make a difference in people’s lives. Amie, Sara, Emily and Jason (now Sara’s husband) started at the bottom and worked their way up over many years. With our assisted living communities, child care centers and Integra Health, our goal is to make a difference in people’s lives. We want to help others, be fair and give people opportunities to give the best care to their loved ones.
Our family has always cherished kindness, care and comfort to children, residents and our staff. We are hardworking people who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Providing a quality product at a fair price has always been our goal.
Fairness is of the utmost importance for family, pricing, staffing and residents. We are real people. Not perfect, but caring and always striving to improve.
We don’t just run a business; we live our business. When recently asked what keeps us up at night and why do you get up in the morning, we answered, “Our family business!”