When Joe Tovar of TJ's Refrigeration first opened his doors for business he was a one-man operation based out of his home. In the past decade, Tovar has grown his business to include six employees and a list of clients that includes both commercial and residential accounts.
This month Joe Tovar and TJ's Refrigeration is celebrating 10 years in business.
Assistant Manager Teresa Vargas said the local business specializes in commercial refrigeration work, as well as meeting the heating and cooling needs of both commercial and residential clients. She explained that when it comes to refrigeration the employees of TJ's deal with everything from walk-in freezers to large coolers. She said they also have the ability to work on other restaurant equipment, like deep fryers.
Tovar said he decided to strike out on his own more than 10 years ago, adding that he decided to go into the field of refrigeration because he knew it was a commodity that was going to be around for some time.
"We'll always need it," Tovar said.
It was in October 1994 that Tovar first opened TJ's Refrigeration. The business, which is now located on Sixth Street in Sunnyside, has seen an increase in its number of residential clients since it opened 10 years ago. Tovar said when he first started, his business consisted of about 85 percent commercial clients. Over the years, he said, there has been a switch with about 40 percent of his calls being for residential work.
For Tovar, being in the refrigeration business 10 years is no surprise.
"I knew I'd be doing this for awhile," Tovar said.
Tovar said he finds the field of refrigeration to be an interesting one. He said it's something that is constantly changing. In the past decade, Tovar said he has seen a dramatic change in technology when it comes to heating and cooling. He said things are a lot more mechanical than they used to be, noting that there's a lot more computer technology involved.
"To keep up with it is a constant battle," Tovar said of the ever changing field.
Vargas said she has enjoyed spending the past three years working for Tovar at TJ's Refrigeration. She said not only is the business a flexible one to work for, but the customers make it extra special.
"We try to keep a relationship with (our customers)," Vargas said.