The Portland Group celebrates 90 years
Multi-generation distributor continues to thrive in New England region.
The Portland Group, a family-owned, multi-generation plumbing, heating and air-conditioning company, is celebrating 90 years in business in 2020.
The distributor notes it prides itself on the quality and variety of products offered to customers, providing top brand names in a warehouse space exceeding 300,000 square feet. The Portland Group adds it also is known for its vision in promoting innovative products that create new opportunities.
The company’s launch of a signature retail showroom in 1987 and subsequently six others over the years was a New England first, it adds. Catering to both the wholesale and retail markets is key to the distributor’s longevity, it notes.
And the fact that The Portland Group continues to be owned by not one but two families, Fox and Rose, makes it extra special in New England’s history, CEO Mike Fox notes.
“My great-grandfather and his friend started the company, and the families are still in business together today. How many American companies can say that, even in New England?” says Fox, who took over as the company’s CEO in 2019. Ben Rose became the company’s third-generation president at the same time.
It’s a family legend now. In 1930, Irving “Speed” Rose invited Benjamin Fox to help him expand his hardware store on Portland St. in Boston to launch the Portland Pipe & Fitting Co. The company grew, in part, by purchasing other businesses throughout New England. Its latest acquisition is Middlesex Supply, another family-owned business in Connecticut with three locations, which The Portland Group bought last year.
The watershed moment in The Portland Group’s history came when it opened its signature showroom Splash in Newton, Massachusetts. As New England’s first boutique kitchen and bath showroom, The Portland Group states, Splash was updated in 2017 and offers the industry’s premier brands and coveted designs in an award-winning, state-of-the-art interactive design center, it adds.
Catering to design professionals and retail customers, Splash, and its sister showrooms Spritzo in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Providence, Rhode Island, as well as Saco, Maine, and Clinton, Middletown and Vernon, Connecticut, are committed to providing the highest quality product and exceptional customer experience.
“The interactive showrooms allow customers to see and try different working fixtures firsthand. It’s a much better experience than simply buying off the shelf,” Fox says.
Ben Rose adds: “The showrooms feature fixtures at all price levels. That’s part of our family values showing through – we cater to everyone’s budget, not just the high end.”
The Portland Group’s success is built on the foundation of strong relationships and a commitment to changing with the times, while at the same time continuing with the traditions that have made the distributor successful, Rose notes.
In other The Portland Group news, the distributor promoted Greg Jackson to Haverhill branch manager, Chris Nappa to Providence branch manager and Mike Masse to marketing manager. Jackson has been with the company since 2013. Since 2005, Nappa held various roles in the Providence branch.
“These promotions are very well-deserved,” Fox and Rose stated. “Greg, Chris and Mike have consistently gone the extra mile with both customers and employees, and each has been instrumental in the company’s growth.”