C&J is–and always will be–a family business. That was the case when Jim Jalbert’s father started C&J as a Logan Airport taxi service, it remained the case as Jim took over the business and expanded the service, and it will be the case in the years to come as Jim’s sons Brooks and Cameron become more and more involved in the service.
The two young men, who are now engaged to help plan for the future of C&J Bus Lines, recently spoke about that experience, their start with the service, and more from Prescott Park in Portsmouth, just minutes away from the city’s C&J bus terminal.
How a legacy begins
The brothers began cleaning buses at a young age and moved into customer service, with jobs ranging from selling tickets to loading bags at Logan Airport. Both took some time off during their college years but ultimately returned to the family bus line, finding the work challenging and engaging and remembering well Jim’s childhood lessons about what C&J meant for the community.
“I like the company a lot, I was really happy to work there, and really proud to continue the legacy,” Cameron added. “When you do care so deeply about the company, it makes it easy to work hard, and it makes it easy to make decisions that will help the company grow.”
Long after those humble beginnings, the two have moved into larger customer-facing roles, with Cameron noting that C&J treats riders like family and values their opinions and feedback. Both stress the importance of maintaining that open line of communication and focus on the customer experience will continue to be a cornerstone of the service going forward.
“Customers aren’t just the heart of our business, they’re the eyes and ears…they always bring fresh ideas,” Brooks said.
All in the family business
Cameron notes that the Jalberts are hardly alone in keeping things in the family. Jim and the company have always stressed a close-knit team that feels like a family, and as a result, several drivers and other team members have also brought family members to work for the company.
That team has, in turn, continued to invest in the Seacoast region so many of them call home, something Jim Jalbert (and his father before him) has always emphasized.
“When you buy a ticket with us, you’re supporting a local company. And you’re also helping us give back to the Seacoast community,” Cameron said.
With exciting new initiatives around the corner and the family working to maintain the consistent, exceptional service C&J is known for, the next 50 years should bring more growth and new experiences for C&J riders. The family bond that animates everything the company does will remain intact, however.
“C&J Bus Lines is an integral part of our family’s identity, and I wouldn’t feel right if I just did away with that,” Brooks said. “The nature of the work is very dynamic, it’s constantly evolving, constantly changing…and we truly are a family.”