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Best of Swift Current

PRAIRIE POST - Friday, May 8, 2015 - 13

Len’s Plumbing & Heating owners warmed by community’s response

Put officials with Len’s Plumbing & Heating into a room with some of their customers and the result could be an argument as to just who is “the best.” Although voted Best Plumbing and Heating Company in this year’s Best of Swift Current online competition sponsored by the Prairie Post, officials with the locally-owned company give all the credit to their customers. “It was a fantastic surprise to hear we had been voted Best Plumbing and Heating Company as we didn’t even know about the contest/vote,” says Charmaine Westbury, office manager. “It really means a lot to us that the community trusts us to take care of them and would vote for us.” Len’s Plumbing and Heating was established in 1966 by Len himself,

and sold in September of 1981 to Dennis Olfert, Glen Arneson, Lawrence Feil and Neil Martens. It then became Len’s Plumbing & Heating (1981) Ltd. In April 2006, the business was

purchased by Tom Westbury and Brad Gaetz and now employs 25 experts in plumbing and heating. The business, which has been a Chamber member since 1989, serves the city of Swift Current, but also the surrounding area within a 200-kilometre radius with both a residential and commercial division. Although a somewhat necessary service

Photos contributed

Tom Westbury and Brad Gaetz are the co- owners of Len’s Plumbing and Heating in Swift Current.

— who wants to be without plumbing or heat — officials with Len’s have always felt it important to evolve to meet customers’ needs. “We are continually upgrading and educating our staff in order to provide the best possible products and services to our customers,” points out Charmaine Westbury. “We are not perfect, but we try hard every day to improve our customer service.” Len’s Plumbing & Heating (1981) Ltd. recently underwent a renovation to the shop that is not quite complete. The result is a more organized environment leading to better customer service. Officials are also glad to have been able to weather the various economic storms over the years.

“We have had steady work and have not had to lay off any of our employees in the ‘slow time’ for the past several years,” points out Westbury. “We are always concerned about the economy as you never know what will happen. We try hard to plan ahead and do the best we can to ensure our staff and their families are taken care of.” It’s easier to weather those storms when a business has loyal clients. “The greatest thing about doing business in Swift Current and the southwest is the people. Our community is hands down the best,” says Westbury. Len’s Plumbing & Heating has strong ties in the community because it is family-

owned and operated and most of the staff have grown up in the area. Business officials are proud of their community involvement and try to give back locally as much as they can supporting Healing Hands Books for sick children in the local hospital, minor sports and charities such as the United Way and Salvation Army. They also donate prizes, help raise money and assist local families in need. “We love helping and being involved in our community,” adds Westbury. “We take great pride in our work and our community and are very grateful to all of our valued customers for this recognition.”

Holderbein family building something special

Zollhaus Builders’ owner Jason Holderbein knows how to build a lot of things: homes, a solid business and apparently an appreciative following. Zollhaus Builders was second in the Best of Swift Current survey done by Prairie Post last year in the Best Homebuilder/Contractor category, but they were named Number 1 for 2015. Holderbein was modest about the recognition. “Well, we certainly were surprised.

We are not a high-volume company so I hope that this recognition speaks to the satisfaction of our customers,” explains Holderbein. “Our goal has always been attention to detail. We pride ourselves on doing all the little things right, especially the things that people can’t see, that get covered up. We like to take on custom projects and enjoy building one-of-a- kind homes. In fact we prefer to build something that no one else has. We enjoy the design and planning element as much as the building.” Jason and his wife Melissa started Zollhaus in the spring of 2008. Jason says he grew up in a construction family and worked for his father starting at a young age. After high school he attended Eston College and received a Bachelor Degree in biblical studies.

He met Melissa there and they were married. Shortly after, he moved back to Swift Current and started working full-time with his father again in 2004. Jason received his journeyman ticket in 2007. Since Zollhaus started, it has had as

many employees as nine, but recently the company was downsized. Now it is just Jason’s father Jerry and himself with Melissa doing the books. Despite the downsizing, Holderbeins’ plan is to continue to build custom homes. With just Jason and his father on site, the plan is to rely heavily on subtrades to continue to turn out the high- quality homes for which they are known and admired. The positive aspect in this is that these sub-contractors are well known to Holderbein and he has 100 per cent faith and trust in their expertise and level of craftsmanship and integrity. “A couple of our former employees have really established some quality businesses and we look to utilize them as much as we can,” says Holderbein. “We know what their workmanship is like and we know that it won’t negatively affect the end result. This year we are building our first spec. house. It is a 1,920 sq.ft. modern two-storey in a great area of the city with lots of young families. It will be coming up for sale in late fall.” Holderbein says Swift Current and surrounding area has been great to his family. In the last seven years, there has yet to have been a day where there was no work. He notes the great thing about Swift Current is its diversity. Between agriculture, oil and industry sectors, he says there are always opportunities. This year for example, with oil slowing down, and agriculture still strong, Zollhaus finds itself building a house in rural southwest

Photo contributed

From left, Boston Holderbein, Melissa Holderbein, Shea Holderbein, Reese Holderbein and Jason Holderbein.

Saskatchewan. Holderbein says their business has been successful because of some high-quality customers and businesses they themselves deal with on a professional basis. They are grateful to be where they are. “There are several great builders in this city and we feel very blessed every time we get an opportunity to build a family a new home, or remodel an existing one,” says Holderbein. “Our local suppliers have been excellent as well. When we were just

starting out and were unable to keep current with some of our payments, we were extended a lot of grace where it didn’t have to be. We deal with local suppliers and trades as much as we possibly can. “We are very optimistic for this year and are already looking forward to some opportunities in 2016. Our goal is no longer to get bigger and take on more work. We simply just want to do a really good job of the projects we take on.”

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