Young Plumber Continues to Grow Longtime LA Firm

Red Lilly Plumbing was an old business given new life by a group of 20-somethings when it was featured in Cleaner magazine in 2008. See how the business is doing today.

Young Plumber Continues to Grow Longtime LA Firm

Red Lilly Plumbing was last featured in the magazine in May 2008.

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Giovanni Torreschico, known to his crew as “Gio,” keeps his Los Angeles-based business Red Lilly Plumbing in the family.

His brother works for the company as does his cousin, Pedro Rios, who has been Torreschico’s right-hand man since Torreschico first bought the longtime business. His wife, Brenda, works in the office when she’s not on maternity leave — she recently gave birth to the couple’s fourth child. One other member who is part of the “extended” Red Lilly Plumbing family is also still around since the company was featured in Cleaner magazine in May 2008 — former owner Linda Adams, now 75.

“Linda’s still here,” Torreschico says. “She retired once, but she couldn’t deal with it, so she came back to work as our bookkeeper alongside Brenda.”

Red Lilly Plumbing has seen many changes in its nearly 100-year history, but the company that was founded in 1924 has never changed its goal: superior customer service.

“It’s one of the main things for me,” Torreschico says.

His office staff of four is courteous, professional and bilingual in order to serve a wide array of customers in one of the U.S.’s most multiethnic cities. Red Lilly Plumbing’s 15 plumbers are also top-of-the-line. Torreschico ensures that they keep up to date on innovations and new technologies as well as delivering great customer service.

The number of staff is about the same size Red Lilly was a decade ago, though Torreschico arrived at that number after growing the company larger at one point.

“I was up to 30 people at one time,” he says, “but I’ve helped some of my guys start their own companies. There’s plenty of business for everybody.”

Since the 2008 Cleaner profile, Red Lilly Plumbing has moved into new digs after Torreschico completed paying off his business startup costs. The new location is in the Silver Lake district — the heart of old Los Angeles — and a stone’s throw from Griffith Park. Torreschico also recently upgraded his fleet once again, adding 2016 and 2017 model trucks to the lineup.

Eliminate the newer equipment and a new location, though, and you’ll find that Red Lilly Plumbing is still very much focused on the things that Torreschico incorporated a decade ago to provide a much-needed boost to an established yet somewhat struggling business, such as CCTV inspection and trenchless pipe rehab. The company’s service area drives the need for those services.

Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills have thousands of beautiful historic homes, including stunning 1920s houses in the Los Feliz district, which pose a challenge for plumbers when it’s time to repair or replace failing pipes. But Torreschico’s specially trained staff leave them looking just like they did in the 1910s and 1920s.

“We always find ways to repair the plumbing without destroying their historic integrity,” Torreschico says.

Red Lilly Plumbing uses pipe bursting technology frequently, avoiding the need to open trenches or create havoc with landscaping, crawl spaces or basements. Recently, Red Lilly Plumbing has also added new construction and remodeling jobs to its core repair business to create even more revenue streams.

“There’s a lot of new home construction going on here, and many people are remodeling their homes,” Torreschico says.

And in the earthquake-prone Los Angeles Basin, Red Lilly Plumbing provides a potentially lifesaving and home-saving service: automatic shut-off valves for gas lines and waterlines in case of a tremor. They can prevent damage from more mundane burst gas lines and waterlines as well.

“My customers like the new Flo Technologies water sensor system,” Torreschico says. “It can be controlled by phone.”

For example, the customer will receive a message if excess water flow is detected. The customer can shut off the water, or in case of severe leaks, the system can be programmed to automatically shut the flow off.

That attention to preserving Los Angeles’ housing history is appreciated by Red Lilly Plumbing’s customers, some of whom have been in the company’s database for decades. Then there are some of the newer customers, such as the number of movie stars and entertainment executives who rely on Torreschico and his staff to maintain their plumbing infrastructure.

“I can’t tell you who they are,” Torreschico says, but he does note that one of them is one of Hollywood’s most well-known stars. Pasadena’s world-famous Norton Simon Museum on Colorado Boulevard is also a customer.

Torreschico attributes having such a diverse customer base to the simple tenets of being honest and reliable. Red Lilly Plumbing might have a long history in the Los Angeles area, but Torreschico was still in his 20s when he bought the company, which at that time was only averaging $24,000 in revenue a month.

Now, at age 38, he says, “I’ve learned a lot about the business, and I’ve matured a lot.” 


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