Long time family business Astoria Plumbing & Tile changes hands this month, and gets a new name. The company will henceforth be called Astoria Plumbing & Mechanical.


Former owner Ann Samuelson said her family ran the business for 32 years.


"It's been in my family forever, so this was a big deal," she said of her decision to sell the firm to plumber and steamfitter Bryan Oguri.


Samuelson, who is also a Clatsop County commissioner, said it was time for a change.


"We have a great crew," she said of the firm's employees. "But it's time to pass the torch. I think Bryan will be awesome."


The firm has historically had about six employees, but that number can climb to more than a dozen when the firm takes on a big contract.


The company also has a labor contract with Plumbers and Steamfitters Union Local 290 to supply plumbers as needed for pro-jects. Oguri is a union member.


He's worked in the plumbing business for 20 years, and was on the lookout for an opportunity when he found out that Samuelson was selling.


"For the past 10 years I've looked at four different companies and had finally decided to start a company here [on the coast]," he said. "I've been a project manager and a superintendent, and have made a lot of money for other people. Now it's time to make some for me."


Starting this month, Astoria Plumbing & Mechanical moves to new headquarters at the Port of Astoria. Oguri has plans for other changes as well, including expanding the retail component.


"I'm working on supplying a few plumbing lines, having a retail place where customers can see products in a physical location where we can sell people individual parts," Oguri said. "That could sometimes save people the cost of having us come all the way to their house for a service call."


He also plans to add heating and air conditioning equipment and servicing to the company's repertoire of options — the reason for the name change. The business will continue to serve both residential and commercial customers.


Samuelson said in the past about half the business was residential service and remodeling projects, along with commercial contracts for new housing.


"Service is key," she said, adding that Oguri has a reputation for good work. "One reason I felt good about Bryan is that he's going to raise the bar."


Oguri plans to grow the company by 20 or 30 percent in the first year, possibly expanding to the Tillamook area. His past work experience has included project contracts with large corporations like Intel, where a plumbing mistake could cost millions. He said a company generally has just one chance to make a good impression on a customer.


"You do that by installing it right the first time," he said.


The new 5,000 sq. ft. facility at the Port of Astoria will open up new avenues for business. Oguri plans to begin targeting services to boats that call on the port.


"[For instance] potentially working on fishing boats when they come in," he said. "Plumbing, refrigeration, hydraulic systems, and replacing parts."


Samuelson said she expects that all the company's current employees will stay with the company under its new ownership.


She'll continue to run her general contracting business, Trailblazer Construction. But she won't be far away as Oguri gets accustomed to running the business.


"I'll still be helping Bryan and staying involved," she said.


Astoria Plumbing & Tile used to be located downtown at 1256-1270 Duane St. Astoria Plumbing & Mechanical's new digs are at 423 Gateway Ave., next to janitorial supply business Walter E. Nelson of Astoria.


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