If Joe Gross had simply done his job, there would be no Gross Electric today, the company says. Gross was sent to Toledo to close a store for the Peerless Light Company, a Chicago-based manufacturer of gas mantles. But instead of closing the downtown Toledo store, he ran it for six months in exchange for a percentage of the profits. He later bought the store and established the Gross Electric Fixture Company. In doing so, he began Gross Electric's long-standing history in the Toledo business community.
This vision of a bright future in Toledo has been passed down from one generation to the next. Richard Gross took over the business from his father in the 1960s. Under his leadership, Gross Electric expanded its showroom lighting business, and diversified its product mix from primarily residential to include products for the commercial and industrial markets.
The company is currently operated by Richard's daughter, Laurie, and son, Joe. Laurie became president of Gross Electric in 1992, and Joe became vice president in 1997. While continuing to offer quality lighting and electrical supplies, Gross Electric has expanded its services to include lighting energy audits, lighting design services, bulb recycling and lighting fixture repair and restoration.
To kick-off Gross Electric's 100th anniversary year, the company is introducing a new logo. “We feel that this new logo has a more modern look,” says Laurie Gross, “and conveys the ideas of both innovation and tradition. Innovation in our products, which we plan to continue into the next generation. And a tradition of service to our customers and commitment to the local economy.”