The shop's exterior
When George Brazil moved from the Los Angeles area to Phoenix, he wasn't about to retire so he did what he always did — he started a contracting firm. George passed on in May 2012 at age 83 after a year-long battle with illness. George and his wife Patricia lived in a two bedroom apartment in this building for several years.
The iconic George Brazil serviceman that graces the sides of all of the company's trucks was created from a composite of one employee's face and another employee's body.
George Brazil has settled on cubes mounted on Isuzu NPR medium duty truck bodies. They've tried full size commercial vans for the firm's electrical work but they have not held up well, especially the tires. They've also experimented with Nissan NV vans, but the storage compartments taper as they go up and the vehicles don't hold as much cargo and aren't as easy to work inside as the cubes.
Cube and pickup
The cube mounted on this truck is a Grumman that's more than 20 years old but looks new with a fresh paint job. Supervisors drive the pickup trucks.
Quality Service Contractors filled two large buses full of contractors for the George Brazil shop tour. It's not often that contractors get to visit a firm as iconic as George Brazil so it was like making a pilgrimage for some of them.
Marc and Pat
George Brazil President Marc Erpenbeck and Pat Brazil addressed the contractors. While Marc might be the president, Pat is still the boss.
Pat Brazil had plenty of stories about life with George that she told the crowd, such as how hard is was for him to find employees who would work up to his standards. Pat is 89; she'll turn 90 in August.
Brazil President Marc Erpenbeck
Marc Erpenbeck was originally the company's attorney before coming to work at George Brazil. Pat comes in to the shop three times a week and Marc goes to her house one afternoon a week to consult with her.
Don Peters explains inventory
George Brazil Controller Don Peters, in the white shirt at left, explains the company's inventory handling to the contractors. Service vehicles are restocked twice a week and a complete physical inventory of every truck is done every eight weeks.
Peters talks truck stocking
George Brazil Controller Don Peters, left, talks about stocking a new truck with the contractors, including Linda Bienvenu, Bienvenu Brothers, Metairie, Louisiana, at right in the red sweater.
Peter's details the truck interior
George Brazil Control Don Peters, at left in the white shirt, talks about truck stocking with a vehicle that's been brought in for inventory.
New cube interior
George Brazil Plumbing has every part in bins and each truck will carry a water heater, toilet and disposer.
Existing cube interior
The interior of a truck that's been brought in for inventory. There's a place for everything and notice that nothing is on the floor of the truck.
Truck stock bins
The folks at George Brazil laid out all of their truck stock bins for the visiting contractors to see how they stock their trucks.
George Brazil portrait
A portrait of George Brazil hangs in the lobby of the Phoenix building.
George Brazil's 6 Ps
A banner with George Brazil's six Ps hangs in the training room at the shop. President Marc Erpenbeck says such a sentiment is classic George.
Chinese screen and cabinet
George Brazil was an art collector and the shop features numerous pieces such as this Chinese screen and the cabinet behind it.
A detail from a door on the cabinet seen in the previous photo. The Brazil's assembled an impressive collection of artwork, including Asian and African art.
Three urns in the bathroom
There's so much artwork throughout the George Brazil shop that you encounter it everywhere, such as these three urns in a corner of a bathroom.
Coming through the Rye
There aren't very many plumbing contractors who have a copy of Frederick Remington's Coming through the Rye.