A History of Family and Hard Work
Andy Thorsen, Founder of Thorsen’s Plumbing, 1911
In 1911 Andy Thorsen Sr. started his plumbing business as a one man shop in a shed attached to his first home on 567 High Street in Turlock, CA. In 1916 Andy relocated to 214 Lander Avenue with the sign “Andy Thorsen The Plumber”.
In the early days, his work mainly consisted of simple plumbing with water storage tanks and wind driven pumps. As the demand for modern indoor plumbing increased, Andy’s business grew, and in 1933 Andy Thorsen the Plumber moved to 134 Lander Avenue to a larger facility.
As post war construction boomed across the nation, Thorsen’s grew with the continued increase in new homes and business construction.
Rodney Thorsen, President 1965-2005
During the 1950’s, as air conditioning began growing in popularity within the central valley, Thorsen’s responded by expanding their services to include central air conditioning and heating. Andy Thorsen’s two sons, Rodney and Andy Jr., were both involved as partners in the business until 1965 when Rodney took over as president.
Thorsen’s experienced its greatest expansion during the 1960’s and 1970’s and in 1977 Rodney Thorsen built a 19,500 sq. ft. building at 2310 North Walnut Road.
Rodney Thorsen managed the company for the next 20 years and in 1984, his youngest son Norman graduated from college and returned to Turlock to take over the reins of the company. In 1988 Norman was involved in a serious automobile accident that forced Rodney to take over managing the company again. Over the next 14 years, Norman was able to help Rodney manage Thorsen’s Plumbing, Heat and Air on a limited basis. Through the skill and devotion of key long-term employees in the office and the field, the company was able to remain competitive
Craig Pitau, Owner Thorsen’s Inc.
In 2002, Craig Pitau – a lifelong friend of Norman Thorsen – was asked to purchase ownership shares in Thorsen’s and step into the position of General Manager. In 2007, Craig became the CEO and in 2012 the Thorsen family asked him to purchase the remaining shares and become the sole owner.
Craig was born and raised in Turlock where his father was a long time teacher and coach at Turlock High School. Craig earned his Associate of Arts from Modesto Junior College and Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from CSU Sacramento.
Craig serves on the Board of Directors for the Turlock Chamber of Commerce, National Ag Science Center and Turlock Veterans Charitable Trust.
Before joining Thorsen’s in 2002, Craig worked for Foster Farms and Tri Valley Growers. Craig and his wife Julia live in Denair where they raised their two sons Joshua and Jarrett.