Edward Sagel, founder of Edward Sagel Funeral Direction, Inc., is a first-generation funeral director who started his career in funeral service in 1987. While attending and graduating Towson University in 1988, Ed decided he would continue his path towards becoming a licensed funeral director by attending a Mortuary Science program in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon completion of the program, Sagel returned to Rockville, Maryland in 1991, and began his career with the Goldberg Family at Danzansky-Goldberg Memorial Chapels. Danzansky-Goldberg always had deep roots within the community including the founding of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington. Within months, the Goldberg Family sold the business to a company that would eventually merge with Service Corporation International (SCI). In 1994, Ed decided that he would create a store front funeral home with a new approach to the industry that would cater to the needs of the Jewish Community, Edward Sagel Funeral Direction was born.
Within a couple of years, Ed established a great reputation within the community and decided to sell his company to SCI. Shortly thereafter, SCI realized just how respected Ed was within the community, and retained Ed to manage both Edward Sagel Funeral Direction and Danzansky-Goldberg Memorial Chapels. The firms continued to thrive within the community. Ed was given the opportunity to purchase both firms from SCI in 2014, so he reached out to Albert Bloomfield to see if he would be interested in partnering together.
Albert grew up in New Jersey, where his father and grandfather started a Jewish funeral home in the late 1970s. Then in 1993, Albert became licensed and officially entered the industry. After a few years Albert and his family sold their business to SCI, and Albert continued to work for them for 18 years. In February of 2014 Ed reached out Albert with the opportunity to purchase the two Rockville, MD firms. After going into business together, Ed and Albert have turned Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care Inc into the very definition of success.
After establishing solid roots in the community, Sagel Bloomfield decided to make some big improvements. One improvement was to renovate the existing and open space next to their current location. The current funeral home is now 6300 feet of technologically advanced and ultra-modern newly remodeled space.
“The space does not however include an actual chapel. But we have established twelve great partnerships throughout the area where we can run funeral or memorial services,” explains Albert Bloomfield, Funeral Director, Managing Partner, and Co-Owner of Sagel Bloomfield.
After initially buying back the funeral home, the firm had to reinvest in the newest technology. Sagel Bloomfield decided to incorporate SRS Funeral Software including their Portal system as our funeral home software choice.
“The Portal system allows our schedule for all funerals and appointments, to be displayed on a large TV so we can easily all keep track and manage all aspects of our business,” says Albert.
In addition to investing in the portal system, Sagel Bloomfield offers electronic register books from Frazer, web casting services (even graveside), utilizes Microsoft Surface tablets during appointments with families, and maintains a Facebook page.
The story of Sagel Bloomfield isn’t one that was free of bumps in the road. After both working under the corporate structure of SCI for so many years, Albert and Ed found that readjusting to doing everything on their own brought along some challenges.
“We had a good grasp on running the business for SCI, but after relying on the corporate system for so many years, we were left to figure out many systems on our own. It was a lot of juggling in the beginning, but not more responsibility than we could handle, but the transition was tricky. We slowly tackled all the big projects such as vacating a 21,000 square foot funeral after being there for 40 years and finished with renovating the 6300 square foot building we are currently operating from,” Albert recalls.
It was a very busy year and a half for Sagel Bloomfield, but they managed to not just work through all obstacles in their way, but exceed the community’s expectations. After acquiring both businesses, merging them together, and then communicating to the community about the changes that had been made, Sagel Bloomfield couldn’t be happier with where they stand today.
“After everything that we had accomplished, it was important for us to rebrand and get the message out there about all the changes. From the rebrand to the new infrastructure, the new staff structure and service levels, and the new building – we had a lot of new messages for the community. We wanted them to know that after being corporate for so long, that Sagel Bloomfield was now privately held,” explains Albert.
Another big factor in the success of Sagel Bloomfield was the relationship they formed with Live Oak Bank.
“Live Oak Bank has been absolutely wonderful. I honestly can’t say enough about how easy they made the whole loan process. Their faith in us, and their willingness to work with us is the reason we have been able to get to where we are today.” recalls Albert.
Sagel Bloomfield maintains a great relationship with the community they serve. They visit a lot of community fairs and donate health items and exercise equipment to the local seniors. Sagel Bloomfield is also very involved in the Jewish community as well. They help a local organization by providing no-cost indigent Jewish funerals to the community.
“We offer support to local Jewish agencies and organizations, whether it be with advertising, or anything else they are looking for, Sagel Bloomfield is there to support them,” explains Albert.
It’s no surprise that Sagel Bloomfield has been successful. They are dedicated to what they do and pour everything into helping the families in their community, so expect nothing less in the upcoming years.
“We’ve gotten into monuments and inscriptions and the future for us will hopefully accelerate that. We are also entertaining the idea of getting into pet funerals, so we will be taking a closer look into that and figuring out how to integrate that into our business model,” mentions Albert.
Sagel Bloomfield radiates quality and sincerity in all aspects of their work and in turn creates a trustworthy environment for their clients and community. Their success is a product of hard work, perseverance, and dedication to the families they serve and because of that, they will thrive for years to come. FBA