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Friday, January 15, 2021

3rd Generation of Smiles in Muskegon - Meet Zeb Garvey Garvey Dental Labs


The family business.  Some of us are cut out to jump right in to it and others, well, we have to carve our own path.  Personally, I would have been much wiser to have carved out a career in some of my family's work.  I come from a line of welders and truckers.  Both union jobs and remarkably valuable skills to have even as a back up gig.  The welding especially.  Some of my uncles over seas jobs...wow!  But, I was destined to break from tradition, and be me.  

Others though, they learn a craft from family and they must be pretty good because even the name carries over the generations.  This is the case with Zeb Garvey.  As a kid, his grandfather spent time teaching Zeb and the other grand kids the family trade.  They make dental appliances for people.  Dental appliances?  Yes, they make dentures, partials, implants over dentures and offer a wide range of services that are essential to people for a couple of reasons.  One, let's face it....you're not eating much without teeth and two, there's so much more to the work that Garvey Dental does for folks.  The ability to smile with confidence, to not have to hide because your teeth have gone bad and the overall health and well being it gives you to be you.  First impressions are important, and a healthy and bright smile is part of that and that is where you find the real passion in Zeb Garvey and his staff.  But there's a twist to this story too. 

Garvey Dental Lab on Facebook

Zeb started out being taught by his grandfather, this we know.  He'd often give up hang out's or partying when his friends were out doing their thing, it's called paying your dues and sooner or later, we all do it.  Zeb stuck to the mission worked and learned and as time moved on and it was time for him to start off on his own...well everything came full circle.  Zeb needed a space to get things going and as it worked out, the space he found is the exact same space his grandfather started off in 40 years ago or so.  

It's in the lower level of the dentist office of Dr. Gaston on Apple Ave, right near Getty Street.  A narrow staircase brings you down to a clean and modern work area with a small space for book keeping and shipping and receiving.  You see all the tools you need to mold things with, some tools to grind and shape, plenty of things to heat stuff up and make things malleable...it's a production line for dentures, but there's one gigantic...."throwback"...ya, we'll call it that....the paint!  It's super fun and a reminder of the times when Zeb was little and, paint...well, was a little "brighter" and not quite the eggshell beige that everything is today.  Now, I am not going to tell you what color the paint is, but I am going to say you'll get a pretty good look at it in today's video and it's genuinely a warm reminder of a simpler time, when family taught family that the value and meaning behind a life's work was so much more than a dental appliance.  Take a listen.   

The skills of a lifetime handed down through three generations and the pride involved...it's immense and understandably so.  At 32 Zeb is getting his feet planted and he's pretty excited to hit the ground running.  At 32....I was still about a year away from REALLY "getting it" even though I had had a pretty remarkable career going in radio for a while.  I wish I would have figured it out a little sooner, but I can't complain.  Much like Zeb, I get to do what I love and do it with purpose.  After all, we're both in the business of smiles....Zeb's is with teeth and mine...well, all I ever set out to do was make one person happy once a day.  So, with Zeb, maybe I met my match.  

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