High-Performance Coating Company Starts in North Dakota

For almost 15 years, Bradley Kubela kept the dream of owning and operating a paint coatings company alive. In June 2017, the dream became a reality as Bradley and Kubela Coatings LLC launched in North Dakota. “My friends and family kept prodding me to start Kubela Coatings…. So I decided that Fargo was best place for my company because of the strong support for businesses here,” explained Kubela.

From North Dakota to California

Bradley was born in Mohall, North Dakota. As a young child, his family moved to Los Angeles, California. With aspirations of law enforcement work, Bradley completed a few years of junior college in California before beginning work with the Los Angeles Police Department. During his years of law enforcement, Bradley was active as an entrepreneur with several start-up endeavors. “Among the businesses I started, two experienced success and were later sold: a pre-paid telecom service and a private security business,” said Bradley.

When retirement arrived, Bradley and his family moved to San Diego, California for the weather. However, it wasn’t long before Bradley got the entrepreneur itch again and started Red Diamond Coatings.  In 2004, Bradley founded this coating company to distribute high-performance architectural coatings. “After learning more about the market for high-performance coatings, I recognized issues with supply and quality of product from manufacturers… So I decided to create my own products,” explained Bradley. Shortly after starting Red Diamond Coatings, Bradley hired chemists to help create a paint that met the features and benefits of competitors. “Once the architectural and roofing coating formula was developed, there was a line of companies wanting to purchase our product,” shared Bradley.

One of the most memorable moments for Red Diamond Coatings was being selected as the official paint for the Hollywood sign operated by the Hollywood Sign Trust in Los Angeles, California. However, excitement for the high-performance architectural and roofing coating dwindled as the economy slowed in 2007. This led Bradley to shut the doors of Red Diamond Coating and pursue other endeavors.

From California to North Dakota

Fast forward to 2017, Bradley’s dream of a coating company is a reality again. In late 2016, he visited a distant cousin in Fargo that he hadn’t seen in over 50 years. “It took one conversation with my cousin and her husband to get me excited about the coating business again. I learned how North Dakota State University was one of the world’s leaders in coating and polymer research and development,” explained Bradley. This interaction sparked a conversation with NDSU about the possibilities of Bradley relocating to North Dakota to pursue the dream of owning and operating a coating company.

After a few months in North Dakota, Kubela Coatings is charting it’. Thus far, Kubela is an approved product of the NDSU Incubator, leases office space in the NDSU Research and Technology Park, and is participating with Innovate North Dakota. “My friends and family told me for years that I have something great with these coatings… Now is the time, and Fargo is the place to re-launch,” said Bradley.

Learn more from Bradley Kubela and Kubela Coatings as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.

Brent McNeal