From a hole in the wall venture to a successful small business
Largo, FL., June 29, 2018 – Quest Vision Care Specialty Lab, Inc. has reached a milestone this June, celebrating 14 years since its first jobs were produced back in 2004. The company has grown steadily under the passion, hard work, and diligent leadership of optical visionary, Michael Walach who began the venture with 3 employees, all of which possessed no optical knowledge.
At the outset, Quest was able to miraculously began production working out of a small, cramped, and at times, suffocatingly hot 1,200 sq. ft. unit relying solely on a single optometric machine and two rebuilt Coburn 506 cylinders both run by one rudimentary computer used for lens design layouts. Despite not having the initial budget to be able to acquire the necessary equipment to offer AR coating or edging, the humble lab focused mainly on Myodiscs. Within two years, Quest was able to add and upgrade equipment leading to an increased production capacity while beginning to find its niche in the market. In the years that followed, Mr. Walach continued to expand the business’s physical size, staff, and equipment to be able to boast a consistent annual growth rate of 10-20%. Mr. Walach commented that this growth was much attributed to, “our ability to see solutions to optical problems differently than our competitors and the determination (or stupidity) to never refuse any job, no matter how complex or seemingly crazy.”
In 2017, Quest evolved into a state of the art facility grossing over $600,000 per quarter with a loyal staff of 20 long term employees dedicated to quality and customer satisfaction along every step of production. In 2018, Quest expanded further, adding a 800-sq. ft. lab to house the Luxexcel VisionMaster™ 3D printer and UV coater putting the total size Quest facility at around 5,000-sq. ft. With the latest technology and highest level of knowledge, Quest currently provides optical laboratories with specialty ophthalmic correction RX lenses which are out of range for production equipment, require specialized tooling equipment or highly specialized skills and knowledge. As the go to solution for all specialty work, we have made it niche to only take on the toughest jobs including hi-power lenses, slabs, strong cylinders, strong prisms, thinned blended edge prisms, prism segs, diving masks, etc. Quest never turns down any job, no matter how complex and always gets the job done well. Mr. Walach shared “I have been asked several times in the last few years what the secret to our success has been. I always answer with the same two things; infinite passion and a team of employees who believe in what we do. Since the very first day we opened, these two quintessential ingredients have been consistently present and are the benchmark of our company.”
In July, Mr. Walach will be hosting an intimate Floridian (BBQ and drinks by the pool) gathering with the Quest team at his family home to celebrate the milestone.