When it comes to family owned and operated businesses, no one fits the gold standard quite like Jim Snell Master Plumber.
Or, should we say, the orange standard.
The company’s colorful work trucks and the building’s matching furnishings stand out on Nederland Avenue, but not as much as the reputation of their hometown.
“Since my dad started this business, we’ve always tried to be the best of the best,” says owner Perry Snell, 62.
And it’s been nearly 60 years since his father Jim Snell first opened the doors. In the beginning the company was based in Port Arthur. Once upon a time there was an office in Beaumont. And they even tried to work in the Houston area. But it is Mid-County’s sense of home that makes them operate locally – 20 of those years in the Netherlands.
“I live six minutes away,” Perry said. “There is no traffic.”
And of course, he said, their local customer base is great.
“They have been in the Netherlands forever,” says Kay DeCuir, director of the Netherlands Economic Development Corporation. “Last year they told how blessed they have been to be a member of the Netherlands. And it is a blessing to have them. It is a blessing to have all our companies, but they are certainly a fixture in the Netherlands. “
Perry grew up learning the business and worked for his father from the age of 14. He took over after his father retired.
With 12 employees, the company, located at 3612 Nederland Ave., provides a number of services in the field of plumbing, plate / sewer leaks, industrial and maritime, commercial and gas pipelines.
And regardless of the challenge, they have maintained the mission of “being recognized as an example of professional service and integrity with 100 percent customer satisfaction,” the company’s website said.
“Rita ripped open our building like a sardine,” Perry said. “We came in, dug our computers out of the rubble, pulled out the generator, and managed to serve customers while we were rebuilding.”
Harvey wreaked havoc again and flooded most workers’ homes after more than two feet of rain fell on the Netherlands. And in addition to running the business, Perry had to rescue his parents from their home in Port Arthur.
“I’ve ridden a lot of boats, but never Jimmy Johnson,” he said.
But it was the recent ice storm that delivered one message to the community.
‘I’m sorry for all the people we couldn’t get to. We have reached as many people as possible, ”he said.
The office was bombarded with phone calls during the February freeze, with “all three phone lines constantly lit”.
The temperature in the Netherlands reached a record 14 degrees on February 16, only two degrees higher than the night before. For seven days, the lows remained below freezing, leading to a host of broken pipes and icy roads.
But no amount of ice prevented them from rolling out the Orange trucks to help as many people as possible.
“That’s the importance of shopping locally because everything you need is here,” said DeCuir. “Last year, (Jim Snell Master Plumbers) were updating, painting, and embellishing through COVID; so I know they plan to stay here for a long time. “
And that’s a statement that Perry can back up, saying that the plan is for his son to be the next owner, as he did his father.
“He’s a master plumber,” Perry said of his 43-year-old son. ‘He mainly runs the company. I am very proud of him. “
Those interested in contacting Jim Snell Master Plumber can do so by calling 409-727-2211.