Known through various names over the years, Petri Plumbing & Heating started in 1906 in Brooklyn, N.Y., with the original name of Brancale & D’Amico Plumbing, Tin Smithing & Hardware. It was owned by Joseph D’Amico, great-grandfather to current owner and President Michael Petri, and Petri’s great-great-uncle, John Brancale.
Petri started working at the family business part-time when he was 13. In 1977, at the age of 22, he joined the company as a full-time employee. Shortly afterward in the 1980s, the company was rebranded Petri Plumbing & Heating, representing his surname. He was named president of the company in the early 1990s. Six years ago, he got the company involved in Green Plumbers USA because of his belief in the green initiative in plumbing. He also is involved with the CEO Warrior Group — a group of international businessmen who share strategies and ideas with each other.
In 2014, he rebranded the company with all-new branding, including new logos and truck designs.
“We have clients that we’ve worked with for three or four generations,” Petri says. “The key is longevity. My youngest son just came into the business and we renovated a bathroom for a client of mine — the same bathroom my grandfather and father renovated 55 years ago.”
With nine employees and six vehicles, the company covers all of Brooklyn and parts of Manhattan, working on residential and commercial service and repair, as well as project plumbing. The vehicles include: four 2015 Freightliner Sprinters, a 2007 Freightliner Sprinter and a 2012 Ford Transit.
“They’re all favorites,” Petri says. “We design our trucks to mirror each other. If you go in one truck, it’s the same as every other truck. We have all-custom racks — stainless-steel racks and plastic bins in them. It gives the service expert a little bit more room when he’s working in the truck. It’s also easy to work and navigate inside the truck. Each truck has an inventory book and is a mirror of every truck, with the exception of the smallest one. We use the Transit to navigate the city more.”
Before the redesign, the trucks featured the full company name, Petri Plumbing & Heating, with the slogan, “Your family plumber since 1906” underneath. Now, the trucks feature the shortened name, Petri, with the new slogan, “Trusted service since 1906.”
“We looked at all the different color schemes and chose blue and yellow because it is inviting to clients,” Petri notes. “We like the way the wrap presents itself in public as well. Before we actually went through with the rebrand, we sent out the design to colleagues for comments and received nothing but positive feedback. So we initiated the rebranding, starting with all our vehicles, then we redesigned our uniforms and everything else as well.”
In addition to the wrap company TradeWraps in Virginia, Petri worked with Mike Agugliaro, owner of the CEO Warrior Group, and his business partner Rob Zadotti; Steven Christopher and Christian Stack, account managers at Seequs; Bill McGowan, owner of PrintFast; and Heather Ripley, owner and president of Ripley PR.
“We all worked together to come up with a design that would bring added value to the Petri name,” he says. “It was truly a group effort and the effect shows. To get into Manhattan sometimes, we go through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. All the transit police and our community wave to us throughout the streets.”
This article was originally titled “Evolving through generations” in the July 2016 print edition of Plumbing & Mechanical.