Truck of the Month: Maloney Plumbing, Phoenix
Retro look, with modern flare
Maloney Plumbing was founded by William “Duke” Maloney and his wife, Mary Maloney, in May 1964 after the couple gave up farming in Idaho to move to Phoenix. Duke Maloney learned the trade from his father, who owned his own plumbing business. WJ Maloney Plumbing mainly focused on commercial new construction business until Kathryn “Kitty” Maloney-Langmade joined her parents’ company upon finishing graduate school at Thunderbird.
“I moved back home in 1996 and initially worked in accounting with my mother,” says Maloney-Langmade, owner and managing member of the company. “After hiring a bookkeeper for the business, I started the service division.”
Maloney-Langmade became president of the company in May 2009. After taking night classes to get her City of Phoenix Plumbing License, she worked to obtain certifications for the business. In 2009, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) certified WJ Maloney Plumbing as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and the City of Phoenix certified the company as Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE).
Eventually, the decline in construction work in Phoenix caused the company’s commercial construction division to slow down. In April 2016, WJ Maloney Plumbing Co. merged with Hayes Mechanical, a successful mechanical company in Chicago. However, in August 2017, Maloney-Langmade was able to buy back the service division, and the company reopened in October 2017 as Maloney Plumbing.
“When I bought the company back in 2017, I wanted to simplify, stream line and revive the name,” Maloney-Langmade says. “Thus, I dropped the WJ and kept Maloney — I am Maloney by birth. My husband also came to work with me after the purchase. We remain family-owned and women-owned.”
The company now employs seven people — three office personnel and four field technicians and installers — and has four fleet vehicles, all of them 2014 Chevrolet Express Box Trucks. The height of the inside of the box truck allows the service technicians to have plenty of room to stand up and organize, Maloney-Langmade notes.
When it came time to wrap the trucks, Maloney-Langmade wanted to reenergize the logo, so she called KickCharge Creative on a friend’s recommendation.
“The Phoenix market was saturated with plumbers, and I was a small fish in a bid pond and starting over to boot,” she says. “The one thing I had going for me was my reputation of doing quality work and longevity in the Phoenix area. The first thing that KickCharge did was to work with us to understand our history, our direction, our challenges and the market.
“Red was the signature color of Maloney Plumbing,” she continues. “We knew we wanted to keep that as a main element. KickCharge kept red, but used a new hue and added other colors such as blue/grey that made the logo pop.
“Some inspiration came from older badging from the early 1940s that was often used by manufacturers of heating and air conditioning equipment. The new logo is refreshing, a huge upgrade of what we had. It takes the elements of being in business for 50 years and gives it a ‘kickcharge’ to be a super cool, fun brand. It’s big, bold and retro with modern flare.”
Maloney-Langmade was hoping to revitalize the name and give the brand a fresh feeling with a burst of new energy.
“We were hoping to get noticed and wow people, and it has worked beautifully,” she says. “We’ve had several customers mention seeing the truck with the new brand and a couple have even texted us pictures of our trucks on the road!”