MARYVILLE — For Del Embrich, becoming a plumber wasn’t always a straight line, but it did lead him to where he should be.
Del and his wife Jennifer are the owners of Embrich Plumbing Co, located at 2910 Maryville Road in Maryville. The company was founded in 2001.
“My dad was a general contractor and pipe fitter, and when he got laid off from pipe assembly, he handled general contractors,” Del said. “I started helping him on weekends and after school.
“I got a taste of what it’s like to own your own business and loved the camaraderie of the guys who came and worked together. At that point, I knew I wanted to own my own business.”
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Del spent some time selling insurance and working at a hotel, but eventually turned to general contractor.
“I love the smell of wood,” Del said, laughing. “I left the insurance business to work for a general contractor but was fired. I also bought a house in Collinsville and found out within 30 days that my wife was pregnant.”
Del used the unexpected free time to remodel the house and decided to pursue a career as a plumber.
“I did that in Pennsylvania for a couple of years while I lived there, and that got my interest,” Del said. “I worked for a great company that consisted of a son and a father and another man and me.
“We’ve done remodels and worked on a lot of old houses. I enjoyed figuring out the issues we encountered.”
Del began his plumbing career in 1995 at a local plumbing company in the O’Fallon area.
In 2001 he left the company to start Emrich Plumbing Co. from his home in Collinsville.
“I built a shop in my house and worked there for about 15 years. “We found this place and knew it was time to move the company out of the house,” Del said. “I used to have 14 people working for me and after (the economic downturn) in 2008 things slowed down and I started to focus on the service side of plumbing.
“When we moved in here I had three people including my son and then I put the sign up outside in the yard. Things just exploded and a year later I had 10 people working for me and two years later I had 14 people.”
Go with the flow
At this point, Emrich Plumbing was doing new build, remodeling and virtually anything plumbing related. Over the past year, the company has tried to narrow its focus.
“We gave up new construction and remodeling and focused more on service,” Del said. “Service has always been my number one priority, and customer service has gotten me to where I am today.”
Unlike many other companies, the COVID-19 pandemic has not had a major impact on Emrich Plumbing and the impact has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We had to do things differently by going into someone’s house and making sure we were safe on our side, and of course that included masks and stuff,” Del said. “During the pandemic, our business ran non-stop.
“Our business probably grew because of people at home using their kitchens and their toilets,” Jennifer added. “We were lucky that our team could work because we were indispensable. We also lost restaurant businesses because some of them were closed, so our total number of service calls stayed about the same.”
“To build a relationship”
With more than 20 years in business, Emrich Plumbing Co. has strong roots in the community. The company does not advertise and relies on word of mouth to build its customer base.
“It’s about building a relationship with the customer,” Del added. “When we put the sign outside everyone heard us, but now they see us and it made a big difference.”
For Del and Jennifer, the family connection includes their son Tyler and son-in-law Isaac, both licensed plumbers who work for Emrich Plumbing Co.
“We want people to know that we’re a family-run business,” Del said. “My mother still works here as a buyer. She enjoys it and is sort of the grandma of the group.”
The Company’s service area includes all of Madison and St. Clair counties.
Office hours are 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, however service is available 24 hours a day.
For more information visit https://embrichplumbing.com/, call 618-343-9899 or email email@example.com.