Lohmeyer Plumbing is celebrating 85 years of serving the Columbus are this year. Thank YOU for continuing to choose Lohmeyer throughout the years, generation after generation.
Joe Lohmeyer put together some memories and thoughts regarding this anniversary:
My full time history with the company started in 1976, but like most small size family companies, I had several stints of part time work from the time I was 15 until I started working full time, for the last 45 years.
Growing up, our kitchen had two phones, side by side on the wall. One phone was the house phone, and the other the work phone. We received more than a few curious comments from visitors wondering what that was all about. As I was not quite as mischievous back then, I missed my opportunity to enhance the story behind the phones. I should have said something like, the one was the house phone and the other was the “Bath Phone”, for emergencies. When there was an emergency at night, there would be a spotlight outlining an overflowing toilet in the sky, alerting my father to an imminent emergency.
As the cobbler kids were the last to get shoes, I remember distinctly going without hot water for three days, as my father was too busy to replace the heater at our home. Out and about in the community, as a small business, people thought my father, and later myself, were always at their beck and call to discuss any plumbing problem, no matter the time, or the event we were attending. My personal favorite was coming back from communion at church one Sunday, and an old time customer beckons me to come over to his seat in the pews. The customer then proceeded to tell me about the plumbing issue at his home, which he wants me to take care of the coming week. In sight, in my mind, must tell Joe now!!
There were also some advantages of being recognizable in the community, from the hard work and positive interactions folks had enjoyed with my grandfather, father, and mother. Some doors, in hindsight, opened more easily for me, because of the preceding generation’s work. In many respects, as a third generation business owner, the odds were not good for me to continue it forward. I would say there was some pressure to live up to the standards of my family as well as community expectations. I failed on many occasions, but overall have moved the business forward, primarily with a good team of people to work with, as well as that fourth generation, daughter Betsy. Pressure Betsy, lots and lots of pressure.
I immensely enjoy the positive comments people make about the folks who work with me, such as “they were friendly, extremely professional, a great asset to your company, caring individuals, and solved a problem no one else either could or cared to solve”. These comments mean more to me than any income statement. Community minded businesses are invested in the people of the community, not in maximizing profits. Profits come from doing the other things, the right things, correctly. Our business will continue to prosper as long as we continue to follow the ethics my grandfather, father, and mother instilled in me and the company a long time ago.
Thank you Columbus for the many people who preceded me with a strong work ethic, business ethics, and people ethics. Most of all I thank God for all of the wonderful people He has put in my life. What a blessing!