Keith Hunt, president and visionary of Plumbs Up Plumbing & Drains in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, began his career as a plumbing parts delivery driver at 19. He soon moved on to filling orders, then helped install new plumbing fixtures in the shop washroom. Shortly thereafter, a plumbing contractor mentioned they were looking for apprentices, and Hunt jumped at the opportunity.
But after more than two decades, Hunt knew he wanted something more.
“Having been in the industry for 22 years, and having worked in numerous plumbing sectors, I felt it was time to build a plumbing service company to leave behind for my two children,” Hunt says.
“We didn’t want to have a company name that included our last name,” says Hunt’s wife and business partner, Lynsey Hunt. “We wanted it to be something that was going to stand out and be catchy and easy to remember — something that’s short and simple but grabs the customer. With the help and guidance of Dan Antonelli of Kickcharge Creative, we were able to achieve that.”
The service company performs 100% residential plumbing and drain work and serves the communities of Aurora, Brampton, Bolton, Caledon, Caledon East, East Gwillimbury, Newmarket, Orangeville, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.
Currently, Plumbs Up consists of Keith Hunt, Lynsey Hunt and Keith’s brother, who helps part-time when he is available, though the couple already has plans to expand further.
“The second plumber and truck will be on the road by the end of November,” Lynsey Hunt says.
In addition to leaving a legacy for their children, Keith and Lynsey hunt say they enjoy the flexibility that comes with owning their own business.
“If our children have school events or extracurricular activities, we can usually manage to get to the events,” he says. “[I like] being able to take my wife for lunch when I have time in between calls.”
Even though it’s still a new company, Plumbs Up has already made the decision to active in the community.
“One of our main goals is being giving back to the community,” Keith hunt says. “We participate in many community fundraising events and sponsor local kids’ sports teams and players. Just in the short amount of time we have been in business, we have participated in the Family Transition Place — a foundation that works towards ending violence against women — as well as a Walk In Her Shoes event and Ferguson Memorial Walk, and we’ve become an ambassador for Family Transition Place’s Purple Tie Campaign.”
Plumbs Up has also sponsored a hole during a charity golf outing and has donated the local SPCA animal shelter.
CREATING A BRAND
When Keith Hunt made the leap to business owner, he recognized how important branding is and hired KickCharge to help name and brand the business, including its 2017 Chevy Express with extended wheelbase. Al Hale of www.signsandwraps.ca in Erin, Ontario, Canada, wrapped the cargo van.
“[It’s a] disruptive, retro look,” Keith Hunt says. “It looks like it has been around for years.”
The goal of the wrap is to increase “brand awareness and to be different from all other plumbing service companies,” he says, adding that the response has been “very positive — people are honking and giving us a thumbs up.”
Plumbs Up’s goals for the next year is “to have three full-time plumbers and one full-time customer service representative to continue providing five-star service to all our clients, and to remain an active participant within the community,” Lynsey Hunt says. “And in five years? Ten trucks on the road, one full-time drains crew, three CSRs/DSRs, and a shop where we run the business from.”
She adds, “We would like to be one of the top plumbing service companies within the greater Toronto area, but we also want to provide better lives for our colleagues.”