64 years ago Demetrio Milani arrived in Vancouver with no more than 50 dollars to his name. The Italian immigrant started his business with a pick and a shovel, going door to door offering drainage services to home owners.
Now Milani Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning has over one hundred trucks on the road serving clients throughout the Lower Mainland, and Demetrio’s son and grandsons run the business with the same integrity and care.
“There are lots of great stories about Demetrio. He was kind of an old school guy,” says Chris Milani, his grandson. “He had a parts warehouse where customers would come looking for some rare plumbing part, and he’d spend 20 minutes digging through his collection to help them find what they needed.”
Vern Milani got involved in his dad’s business before he enrolled in school, watching Demetrio work from the window of the family station wagon, then picking up a shovel once he was old enough. Father and son opened the first Milani plumbing and supply store, eventually moving to the store’s current location at 5526 Kingsway.
“They had one or two trucks on the road, and slowly over time it’s grown to over a hundred, supporting lots of local families,” Chris says.
Demetrio passed away in 2004 but Vern and his sons Chris and Alex carry on the family legacy.
How do you choose a maintenance technician?
When the toilet overflows or the air conditioner breaks, you don’t have time to research technicians or find a good deal. In your home or your business, how do you find a fast, experienced technician, and how do you weed through all the choices in your Internet search?
Reviews are one place to start, and Milani has over 3000 with consistently great ratings.
“Providing good customer service is preached to us every day,” Chris says. “Not just on the job, but afterwards too. If someone’s not happy, which happens to everyone in business, we’re always going to pick up the phone. That reputation is very important to us.”
Availability is another strong point of the business. Chris says Milani Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning is ready to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there are no extra fees on weekends.
“Give us a call and we’ll get there. Late on a Sunday night or Christmas morning, we want to help our customers.”
The company recently expanded into Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley so there are technicians nearby ready to help with home and commercial building services. The Main Office in Burnaby at 5526 Kingsway offers a parts department and tool rental company, when physical distancing allows. Have an emergency? Call 604-888-8888.