“It’s kind of a higher calling, if you will. … It gets you up in the morning. You wake up, and you want to go to work. You want to go do something great because it’s for your community,” Johnson adds.

He may be on to something. In the past year, A&P—with its Colorado office in Aurora—has twice been honored as one of the Denver metro area’s best places to work. On workplace website Glassdoor.com, anonymous A&P employees post reviews such as, “Great company, awesome culture and people” and “Virtually unlimited opportunity.”

With all those good vibes emanating from the staff, it’s not surprising when Whitney says the average employee’s tenure with the company is 10 years.  Still, it may be a customer who offers the highest praise for A&P, which has nine offices around the country and currently ranks at No. 8 among Colorado-Wyoming GCs in the Mountain States list, with regional revenues of $271.4 million in fiscal 2014.

That customer is Therese Brown, vice president of the Westminster, Colo., branch of Front Range Community College. She manages the campus’s construction and has worked with A&P on a string of projects since 2009. Brown recalls a conversation with A&P Project Executive Tom Stone during the Great Recession, when construction was hurting in Denver and across the country.

“I said to Tom, ‘How are you guys doing?’ And he said, ‘We’re doing OK. I’ve got 200 families that I need to take care of.’ Does he live out the family values?  Absolutely. He was concerned about keeping his people employed, and he spoke of them as family,” she says.

Ron McDaniel, senior vice president of the Denver office of A&P client Shea Properties—another family-owned company—sees a commonality between the two organizations.

“Stylistically, I think we’re both fairly similar in that [our companies’] work is very relationship-based,” McDaniel says. “They have tendencies to be driven by relationships more than stockholder equity and making short-term decisions. I think both of us have longer-term thought processes about how we’re doing our businesses.”

The value that A&P puts on relationships has been evident in Diener’s experience, as well. “Their word is good,” Diener says. “Yes, we all sign contracts. Then, the contract goes in a drawer, and we work together. They don’t pull the contract out on a regular basis and throw something in your face about ‘The contract says this and this and this’ and have an argument about it. It’s more like, the contract is signed, it goes in a drawer, we create a team, and we get a project done.”

A&P’s recent jobs have been impressive. In addition to ongoing work for Front Range Community College and UC Health, the company is building or has just completed numerous projects, including the $74.4-million, 296,000-sq-ft, 11-story CoBank Center for Shea Properties in Greenwood Village; the $21.7-million Depot Square Transit Village in Boulder; $20.5 million in additions and renovations to Lake County High School in Leadville; the $15.4-million Boulder County St. Vrain Office Building in Longmont; and a $15-million renovation project for the Vanguard Classical School in Aurora.

Looking forward, Weicht stresses the need for a “healthy mix” of projects—balancing schools, offices, multifamily developments and other sectors—as well as a desire to explore different markets. One such new venture is the current construction of a brewery in Asheville, N.C., for Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing Co.

If A&P’s future is anything like its past, employees and customers should be raising toasts long into the night.