Despite having sold his business, Guy Steinborn doesn’t intend to settle into retirement.
“I don’t like to use the word ‘retirement’ because that’s not really me at this point. I call it a change of pace in life,” Steinborn said.
Steinborn, the founder of Blaeberry Valley Plumbing, recently sold his business to Parky’s Heating and Cooling and will continue to help with the transition until he moves on from the plumbing business altogether.
Both Steinborn and Parky’s owner Doug Parkinson have said that the transition is going well, with the large majority of Steinborn’s customers keeping their business under the new ownership.
Steinborn began his plumbing apprenticeship in 1972 and after completing the apprenticeship three years later he started his own business. After growing the business for 18 years, he decided that it was time for a change of scenery. Steinborn sold his company to his employees and moved to B.C. That was in 1993 and the Steinborns haven’t looked back since. After originally looking into moving to Fairmont Hot Springs, the couple decided to move to Golden instead.
“We liked it because there were some big grocery stores here but you still had the mountain atmosphere…We liked it as soon as we came here,” he said.
His new plumbing business began operations in 1996 and grew to a base of over 1,400 customers.
Now, 41 years since he started out in the industry, Steinborn says he is looking for another change of pace, this time with his employment rather than his location.
“After plumbing for 40 years, I just need to do something else,” Steinborn said. “I don’t dislike [plumbing], I just need a change…It’s time for the younger people to take over.”
Eleven years ago Steinborn and Valmarie began operating a laundromat and renting out five apartments in an attached extension of their home. The apartments have had a 95 per cent occupancy rate since they began accepting tenants.
Steinborn says that he isn’t opposed to part-time work here and there in the future after he walks away from plumbing for good, but that he is looking forward to having free time to do the things that he loves, which include vacationing down south in the wintertime and ATVing in the summer.
He also plans to spend plenty of time with his three granddaughters (who all live in town) and says he has no plans to relocate.