Our History & Values
Learn All About How Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical Came to Be
In 1967, plumbers Elvin Nelson and Ray Jagow were struggling to make ends meet in the difficult home services industry of the time. While continuing their trades on the side, the two entrepreneurs decided that retail was the place to be. Elvin and Ray opened an antique store called Century Antiques on 3rd Avenue in Saskatoon. Shortly after they opened their doors, a customer suggested to Elvin that he put his plumbing and heating expertise to use and sell parts for mechanical equipment instead. Elvin’s response to the young man was simply, “Good idea!” Elvin and Ray sold off their antiques and Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical was born.
Elvin and his team built relationships with their clients as they helped them solve their mechanical mysteries. Elvin’s philosophy at the time was, “Kiss them on the way in, and kiss them on the way out.” Each customer was greeted like family and left feeling like they were saying goodbye to their friends.
With this relationship building model, the company grew and grew. In 1975, Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical moved to the Adilman building on 20th Street, and it wasn’t long before all three floors were filled with home service parts and plumbing fixtures. Centennial was leaving a mark in Saskatoon and Elvin was leaving his own imprint in the home services industry as an innovator of DIY advice. As popularity grew, the company expanded to locations across Saskatchewan. Stores opened up in Prince Albert, North Battleford, and Swift Current, as well as multiple locations in Saskatoon. Business was thriving until the economic downturn of the 1980s. While customers still loved the service and the parts that were available to them, Elvin knew it was time to consolidate down to one store back in Saskatoon.
After a few years, Arnie Shaw, the company’s long-time chartered accountant and management consultant, decided to buy the business. It was at this time that Arnie developed his vision to diversify the company to focus more on in-home plumbing, heating, and electrical services. While retail was the stronger market when Elvin founded the company, competition and economic pressures had shifted the industry to be more viable in in-home service, specializing in furnace, air conditioning, and water heater service and installations, as well as plumbing and drain repairs.
Throughout the 2000s, the retail parts store turned into a design showroom filled with beautiful kitchen and bath plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, and tile. As such, clients started requesting full bathroom and kitchen renovations. In 2006, Centennial launched a renovation and design department to deliver a more holistic customer experience. In the years following, renovations continued to grow, and the company continued to expand. Centennial’s renovation department (now known as Centennial Kitchen and Bath) was now taking on whole home renovation projects, home additions, and even ventured out to build custom homes.
Arnie and Linda had built Centennial on a solid foundation and in January of 2014, Arnie and Linda’s son, Michael Shaw, daughter, Rebecca Simpson, and son-in-law, Steven Simpson, bought the business to carry on the legacy built by both Elvin and Ray, and their father. Michael and Steven are continuing to lead Centennial with the same philosophy on which the company was founded: to improve the lives of clients, co-workers, and the community.
At Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical, all of our qualified technicians must align with our values.
- Integrity: We are always honest, act with good intentions, and say what we mean
- Teamwork: We support our clients, co-workers, community, and company
- Safety: We prioritize and never compromise on safety
- Joy: We passionately take pleasure in our work
- Accountability: We are accountable for our responsibilities; we do what we say and find a way to get things done
- Kindness: We are polite, and we treat everyone with respect
- Efficiency: We are organized, we respect company procedures, and we work to continuously improve
To learn more about our company and the services we offer, call (306) 500-7392 or contact us online.