A&T Mechanical rolls out the red carpet
Located just south of East 2nd Street between Rankin and Bryant, A&T Mechanical has been serving the heat and air needs of Edmond and central Oklahoma for decades. The Alvarez family patriarch Jesse Alvarez purchased the business back in the 80s.
CFO Jessica Alvarez-Stacy, daughter of Jesse Alvarez, shared, “It all started back in 1976 when our father was a young adult. At the time, he worked for a commercial refrigeration company.” It wasn’t long before Jesse’s dreams of a brighter future for his family led him to become the company’s owner. “Our father did not come from a family of means,” said Jessica. “He decided that wasn’t doing to stop him and was able to make a great deal with the [previous owner] and bought the company back in the 80s.”
Challenges in the eighties
If you know anything about Oklahoma’s economy in the 80s, you know things were challenging. Soon after purchasing A&T Mechanical, new owner Jesse experienced those challenges first-hand.
CEO Joseph Alvarez, son of Jesse Alvarez, said, “Once the economic collapse hit Oklahoma, my father went from a successful business owner to just making sure he kept the business alive.” Despite his team consisting of just himself and one other employee, Jesse managed to keep things going. “He made sure the business stayed alive and refused to give up.”
Part of not giving up was being proactive when looking for customers. “In the beginning, our father would go door to door asking residents if they needed HVAC services,” Joseph recalled, and if they did need his services, he literally rolled out the red carpet.
Joseph elaborated, “Upon their acceptance, he would roll out an actual red carpet at their front door, making sure the customer knew they were important.” Because the average person couldn’t always tell what work had been done, Jesse also waxed their condenser so they would know he had done the job.
Customer service as a family
Now Joseph is CEO, and Jessica is CFO. “Now, with my brother and I by [our father’s] side, the possibilities are endless, and the legacy will continue on!” Jessica shared.
The Alvarez family is grateful for their family-owned and family-run business. Customer service has been a huge priority, and the team at A&T Mechanical strives to give their customers that “family feel.”
“Our father would say, ‘A service need is a human need.’ He always made sure to emphasize that,” Jessica said.
Of course, they do still face challenges. While the company’s leadership is composed mainly of the Alvarez family, they currently have staffing challenges like many others. Jessica shared, “At the moment, [our biggest challenge] would have to be finding great technicians.”
As you might expect, one of the priorities when looking for technicians and other staff is keeping that same great customer service and quality of work. “[Another challenge is] making sure the quality of work that we strive for remains consistent as our business grows,” Jessica said.
Priorities and giving back
Not surprisingly, the biggest motivation for the Alvarez family is, well, family. Joseph explained, “Ultimately, family is the most important thing that motivates us. We want to make sure our spouses and children are taken care of and that we always have time for them.”
The families of their employees are a huge priority as well. Joseph said, “[We also want] to be able to help our employees take care of their families as well.”
The team also enjoys supporting teachers. Each year, they give away a complete heat and air system to a teacher in need as part of their “Treat-A-Teacher” giveaway. Jessica explained, “We surprise the winning teacher at their school and do our best to make them feel special. Not only does it allow us to give back to the community, but also to the families of the winners.”
The A&T Mechanical difference
Their customer service and family-oriented priorities are certainly one reason people might choose to do business with them. However, they also go the extra mile when it comes to the actual services they provide.
Their technicians are trained to make sure their customers’ HVAC systems are up and running’s well as improve their performance at no additional cost to their customers.
Jessica added, “We also use specialized software that not many HVAC companies use. It actually shows the customer how efficiently their system is running.”
If their reviews on Google and Facebook are any indication, their customers appreciate it. On Google, they have 4.9 stars out of 5. On Facebook, they have 5 stars out of 5.
Joseph summed it all up. “We are grateful, of course, not only to be able to work together as a family, but to still be able to provide the same great customer service. Having that passion and love for what we do, just as my father does, is fruitful.”
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