Despite a tumultuous year unlike any other, Gross Electric has something to celebrate in 2020: the company’s 110th year continuously serving builders, homeowners, and designers. Now in its third generation of leadership, the Gross family is very proud to share this achievement as local and family-owned and operated business.
The company was founded in 1910 by George “Joe” Gross, who moved to Toledo from Chicago to close a branch store of Peerless Gas Mantel Company. Instead he bought the branch in downtown Toledo and Gross Electric was born. As lighting evolved from gas to electric, the company was quick to adapt. At various times Gross has manufactured lighting fixtures, converted customers’ homes from gas to electric, and sold appliances.
Over the years the company has branched out from its original headquarters on Summit Street to Reynolds Road in West Toledo to Ann Arbor, Michigan and Woodville Road in Northwood. It has even diversified into new product categories, acquiring Buehler Decorative Hardware 9 years ago & opening G&G Safety Supply in 2016.
Now owned and operated by George’s granddaughter Laurie, Gross is the oldest independent, locally owned electrical and lighting distributor in the area. Known for its extensive product offerings and expertise Gross Electric’s staff has over 300 combined years of experience in lighting design for residential, commercial and institutional spaces, electrical gear design and quotations, electrical product selection, energy audits and lighting control systems.
The Gross family has also always emphasized community service. Gross Electric supplied free smoke detectors to the City of Toledo’s trust fund and has donated time and materials to Habitat for Humanity, Gretchen’s House, St. Jude’s, and other community organizations. Laurie Gross has served on the board of industry associations, as well as the Sight Center of NW Ohio, UT Family Business Center, the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo, and is currently treasurer of the American Lighting Association (ALA). In fact, all of Gross Electric’s lighting showroom salespeople are lighting experts who have been trained by the American Lighting Association.
Laurie Gross and her father, Richard, in the early days of her career.