At the Ketley Brick company near Dudley in the West Midlands they've been making bricks for more than 200 years.
But the current managers believe there has never been a greater threat to the future of the business than now. The surge in energy price costs has forced tough conversations.
"As gas prices started to escalate we had to decide, do we continue to absorb those costs, do we slow down, potentially lay people off to save that huge increase in energy," Kevin Preston, production director at the company, told Sky News.
"It's difficult to come to the right answer," he added.
For now, they've decided to try to absorb costs, not least because they have a full order book and don't want to let customers down.
But Mr Preston accepts if gas prices continue to rise the situation may change.
"There is a limit," he said. "Hopefully we never get to that limit."
Fears of businesses shutting factories or going to the wall led to the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng submitting a formal bid to the Treasury for assistance.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reportedly back plans to loan millions to help industries hit by the rise in global gas prices.
But Mr Preston isn't convinced that will help: "We don't believe that's the answer.
"It's just kicking the can down the road. Does industry need more debt at this moment in time? We don't believe so. We need help with capping prices."
Workers only need look at the enormous gas-powered kilns, heated to over 1,000 degrees to fire the bricks, to see how the surge in energy prices is putting the factory - and their jobs - in jeopardy.
Andy Potter, 57, has worked at the plant for a quarter of a century.
"Of course I'm worried, you'd be a fool not to be worried," he said.
"We already had a meeting on Friday and they said the future's looking very worrying - so if I'm laid off - well a lot of people haven't got the money now and they're working so if they're laid off they're going to be in an even worse boat."
He's not just worried about his own job.
"It's hitting absolutely everything. It's not only our industry - my wife works in a school kitchen and you can see their costs, everybody's costs, have gone up.
"Prices of everything are just too high. No matter what you buy, everything has gone up."
For now, to try to save jobs, the company has decided to raise its prices. From January, bricks will be sold for 10% more.
Mr Preston accepts that'll mean higher costs for consumers.
He said: "As with everything else that's going up, the customer will ultimately pay."