May 18, 2022
Often the difference between success and failure is the ability to identify and capture opportunities. It’s that kind of foresight, mixed with a measure of risk-taking and diligence, that has allowed Gross Plumbing Inc. to grow from humble beginnings to a firm that impacts the local economy.
In the mid-1950s, Jim Gross knew the hardware business well and decided to set out on his own by purchasing an existing hardware store in Lorain that would become Gross Hardware. Shortly after starting his company, his older brother, Bob, joined him and the two worked hard to grow a successful family operated business.
As the original Gross team of Jim and Bob were establishing their hardware business, home appliances, like washing machines and clothes dryers, were gaining popularity in homes around the area. Gross Hardware sold appliances, which usually need to be wired to a power supply and hooked up to water systems. Realizing the tremendous opportunity that existed, the company soon became Gross Plumbing and Electrical and expanded to add expertise in electrical and plumbing work that helped to fuel the development of the company of today.
As the business grew, the duo decided to focus on plumbing and heating services, while selling the successful electric service to a Gross employee.
“The Gross Plumbing of today has everything to do with the opportunities they went after, as well as the work ethic and skills they taught us,” said Dan Gross, Jim’s son, who took over as company president in the late 1980s. “It takes hard work, smarts, treating people right and being good at what your company does.”
After graduating from high school, all four of Jim’s sons, Dan, Bob, Gary and Bill, worked in the business. In 1990, Dan and Guy bought and began operating the firm, which also includes family members Martha and Dan Jr. Brothers Gary and Bill still had plumbing in their DNA and seized an opportunity to buy and operate a separate plumbing company. The company, located on Lake Avenue in Elyria, focuses on offering commercial, institutional and industrial clients plumbing, fire protection services, heating and cooling expertise and sheet metal fabrication. However, according to Dan, the team also continues to service a handful of loyal residential clients who had been there along the way.
“The secret ingredient is having outstanding employees on your team and doing things to keep them around,” Dan said. “You grow to trust and rely on each other, and that is what we have found from Buckeye Bank. In the good times – and when we have faced some challenges – they are always there for advice, guidance and support and that means a lot to us.”
“Dan and Guy have demonstrated the great ability to respond quickly, seize opportunities and overcome adversity to continue growing,” said Buckeye's Bruce E. Stevens. “Gross Plumbing is very customer-oriented, and, like Buckeye Community Bank’s team, they live in the community, have built strong relationships and understand local needs. We are pleased to work with them in serving businesses and strengthening our local economy.”
Check out Gross Plumbing at grossplumbing.com.