You might have realized High 5 Plumbing is not your average plumbing company. Are you curious about what makes this whole thing so special?
We sat down to talk with High 5 Plumbing founders, Levi and Cassi Torres, to learn about the history and culture of High 5 Plumbing. They shared how they’ve demonstrated their commitment to the community over the years, how their values inform how they run their business, and what’s in store for the future of their beloved High 5 Plumbing Team. Keep reading to learn more about the good stuff that’s behind all those iconic high fives!
The Early Years
You have a long history as a husband-and-wife team. Can you tell me how all that started?
Cassi: Levi and I go way back. Like, when I was in eighth grade. We dated on and off all throughout high school. We got started young and married young and had two amazing kids. Our daughter is now a high school sophomore. She’s super determined—and Levi’s mini-me for sure. Our son is in seventh grade; he’s big into sports like his dad, and he loves basketball.
Here’s a picture of us on our wedding day, August 27, 2004. Super young, excited, and nervous all at the same time for our journey together to “officially” begin!
Levi: We did get an early start! And right away, after we got married, I started working in plumbing because it’s what I knew. I’d been plumbing with my dad down in southern Colorado since I was 16 years old.
Cassi: Levi worked hard the whole time and helped put me through school, so I could earn my elementary education degree. We eventually got to a point where we felt like we wanted more for our life as a family. We especially wanted more freedom and flexibility to be with our kids while they were growing up.
Levi: We were fortunate early on to get into some relationships with great business mentors who taught us the importance of a team mindset, loyalty to your people, personal development, and even volunteering. This all helped us create a vision for what we wanted to do with our business, and it planted the seeds for the beginning of High 5 Plumbing.
How did High 5 Plumbing get started? What was the inspiration?
Cassi: It all began with a high five!
Levi: Literally, it did. And I have my high school sweetheart to thank for it.
Back in 2012, we felt like we were at a crossroads. Cassi and I made the decision to launch a plumbing business in Denver, thinking we’d start it on the side and grow from there.
We spent some time brainstorming one afternoon, going back and forth with different ideas for a company name.
Cassi threw out a name I liked, and I said, “that’s a good one! High five!” As we reached across the table, and our hands connected, we knew we had to create High 5 Plumbing where “Every Call Ends With A High 5!”
Cassi: We’ve long since forgotten the “good name” that inspired that light-bulb moment. But the power of that simple two-handed gesture informs how we do business every single day.
Levi: A high five can be a show of support, appreciation, excitement, relief, or just plain friendliness. It’s a quick gesture, but it means something personal to both parties. It’s a positive action that can seriously brighten a day for our employees and our customers.
We didn’t realize it at first, but about three years into running our new business, we started to understand the kind of impact we could have through our high five-inspired approach.
Cassi: We realized that we are so much more than just a plumbing company. We get to see the positive effects our high five-driven business has on our team, our clients, our community, and the nonprofits we partner with through our charitable giving program, High 5 Plumbing Cares.
You started out in new construction and moved to residential plumbing in 2016. Why the shift? And how have you grown?
Levi: Yeah! It was such a big shift that I often say we started a new business at that point. We’d worked with contractors on new construction projects for several years, and there came a point when we realized we’d hit a ceiling. We were limited to the number of jobs we could do based on the work that contractors had for us. Cassi and I wanted to grow the business into something that could mean more for our family and our community. And honestly, we were really excited about working face-to-face with individuals and families, not just with contractors.
We started working one-on-one with residential customers in 2016 which was our fourth year in business. At that point, we had just one service truck, and now, we have nine service trucks. We’ve grown to a team of 15. It’s been an incredible experience and better than we ever imagined.
Not Your Average Plumbing Company
What is High 5 Plumbing Cares, and how did it come about?
Levi: Our boots-on-the-ground commitment to our community is what differentiates us from a lot of other businesses like ours. We’ve always known that we are who we are because of our neighbors and the customers who support our business, and it’s only right for us to give back. From day one of our business, we have sought to not only meet people’s plumbing needs but also meet their physical and emotional needs through community involvement.
Cassi: A few years ago, we were inspired by an initiative at our church to do something tangible to invest in our community. We realized that at High 5 Plumbing, we had good intentions to give back and do good. What we needed was an intentional plan. And we knew right away that it would be High 5 Plumbing Cares.
In March 2018, we established our charitable giving program, High 5 Plumbing Cares. Coal Creek Meals on Wheels was our first-ever nonprofit recipient!
Each month, we spotlight a Denver-area nonprofit organization and focus our efforts on supporting, promoting, and sustaining these organizations that serve our community so well. Yes, we write a check at the end of the month, but that’s just the beginning of our relationship with these nonprofits. In fact, we make a point to revisit and re-feature these groups as High 5 Plumbing Cares Throwback Nonprofits. (Our July 2020 High 5 Plumbing Cares recipient, Thrive, is one example).
Levi: We also schedule quarterly team volunteer nights where we get together to serve the month’s High 5 Plumbing Cares nonprofit with our hands and feet, not just our dollars. And we’ve spearheaded clothing donation drives for Button and Zipper and Clothes to Kids of Denver.
Here’s our team volunteering with Kitchen One for One in May, during some of the toughest days of the pandemic here in Colorado. We packed meal bags for distribution to families in need of fresh, healthy food.
Since establishing High 5 Plumbing Cares in March 2018, we have donated a total of $24,405 to Denver-area nonprofits. We’ve championed the efforts of 27 organizations, and, as a show of our long-term commitment, we’ve featured four of the organizations for a second time during our “throwback nonprofit” months.
Our mission at High 5 Plumbing is to come together as more than individuals to create a positive impact on our team, our clients, and our community, one High 5 Plumbing at a time.
High 5 Plumbing Cares helps us fulfill that mission every day, and we’re grateful that it keeps us grounded and in touch with the needs and diverse experiences of our community.
How are you different from other plumbing companies?
Levi: For starters, we don’t look like everybody else. Our brand really sets us apart. As a company, we want to make plumbing bold, cool, fun, and sexy. So we do things a little differently. Our brand is a big part of who we are. Bold colors. Cool gear. Team members who are professional and also fun.
Even the way we communicate with our customers is unique. Most plumbing companies send a dispatch email. We send dispatch videos, so our customers can put a face to a name and get an idea of what we’re about before we even arrive at their door.
Cassi: On a more personal note, family is incredibly important to us. And that’s obvious in the way we manage our team. From time off and insurance benefits to flexible schedules and paid parental leave, we make it possible for our team members to prioritize their families and personal passions. We know that a supported, fulfilled team is an effective one, so we do everything we can to make that happen for the great people who work for us. We treat them like family.
Here are a couple of photos from a tie-dye event we hosted at the shop with our team and their families.
Why do customers choose to work with High 5 Plumbing?
Cassi: When we speak with customers over the phone, we’re very up-front with them. We let them know when the service call is booked whether they will be charged a service call fee. First-time clients are eligible to have the service call fee waived, and service calls are always free as a benefit to our High 5 Club members. We also ask customers to agree to a two-hour window of time during which their technician will arrive.
Some customers also call to ask for quotes over the phone, but we remind them that, as a responsible, trustworthy company, we can’t offer quotes without first seeing the plumbing issue. An in-person inspection is the best way for us to accurately assess the problem and provide a fair estimate.
Related: Why We Need to See Your Plumbing Problem to Offer a Quote
Levi: Since March of 2018, we’ve also offered free video estimates through High 5 Plumbing Live. This service can be a convenient alternative to an in-person inspection.
High 5 Plumbing Live has proven to be a particularly valuable service during the COVID-19 pandemic as it helps to limit face-to-face interactions and protect the health and safety of our customers. Having this system in place allowed us to continue serving customers efficiently and safely, without interruption, even as our communities shut down and people stayed home.
To build even more trust with our customers, we conduct extensive background checks for all of our employees, and we ensure their professional certifications are valid and up-to-date. All of our plumbing technicians are licensed or certified by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.
Cassi: High 5 Plumbing has consistently been recognized as a trustworthy leader in the community. We’re a Team Dave Logan company, a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ Rating, and a Home Advisor Top Rated business. And “People Love Us on Yelp!” Go Team!
Building a High Five-Worthy Team
How do you demonstrate ethics and integrity at High 5 Plumbing?
Levi: I grew up in a really small town in Antonito, Colorado. My dad owned a plumbing company, and from a very young age, he taught me what I know about treating my customers and my team right. I basically learned that you reap what you sow.
I took the lessons my dad taught me in that small town and translated that knowledge to the city. At High 5 Plumbing, we commit to always doing what’s right, and we walk the talk. If we misdiagnose a job or make a mistake, we own that and make it right. And when a refund is called for, we give it. Because that’s the ethical thing to do.
Everything we do is built on respect. For our team and for our customers. Without that, there is no High 5 Plumbing. We go out of our way to treat our employees better than they’ve ever been treated by another employer, and we foster in them the same ethics of honesty, responsibility, and integrity that my dad instilled in me.
What we see as a result is a camaraderie and a team spirit you can’t fake. We know one another, care about each other’s growth and success, and take time to help our people develop both professionally and personally. We’re clear about our expectations, we treat people fairly, and we lead with empathy.
Plumbing was never my “dream job.” But what began as a way to pay the bills and make ends meet has become so much more than a job to me. We’re making an impact on the lives of the 15 other people who work with us. I love knowing that, and it’s what inspires me to come to work every day.
What goes on behind the scenes with your team?
Cassi: So much! I got my degree in elementary education, so it’s fun to pull that into some of the things that go into our shop and the culture of positivity we foster there.
For instance, we have an area in our shop that says, “Be the Reason Someone High 5’s Today.” It’s where we showcase our team’s five-star customer reviews and customer-high-five photos. Each employee has their own corkboard that gets filled up with their rave reviews and pictures. It’s basically a giant wall of affirmations and reminders of the great work our team is doing.
We also have what’s called the High 5 Plumbing Hand Wall, and every time a new team member is hired, they get to add their handprint to the wall.
We have a running joke in the office that once someone comes to interview and sees in person what we’re all about, they can’t say no to a job offer!
Learn more about why our team loves working with us (and why you might, too!): This is Why Your Next Job Should Be With Us
Cassi: Wherever and however we can, we aim to set our people up for success, and you’ll see that all over our shop. We also do a lot of personal and professional development training in-house. And we even have team appreciation nights out and about in Denver.
Here are a couple of shots from an outing we did at Color Me Mine in 2019:
We conduct weekly team meetings, vision board-building, and brainstorming sessions, employee initiatives, and weekly one-on-one check-ins to foster continual improvement and professional development.
Levi: We also have monthly competitions among our team to see who can get the highest fives from customers. Really! Because we know that a high five is a personal, positive gesture, we know that when our team members earn those high fives (and even get photos with the customer!), the customer is happy, and we’re living up to our values as individuals and as a company.
Cassi: Absolutely. We definitely strike a healthy balance between fun, genuine care for one another, and professionalism.
From our in-office basketball court to bonuses for every five-star review a technician receives, we strive to maintain an affirming, laid-back culture where people are happy to come to work. The more we can make work feel like a “home base” and not just a job, the better. In doing that, we set our team up to do great work and finish each day with a sense of integrity and pride in a job well done (and worthy of a customer’s high five!).
One of our employees, Francesca, put it this way: “This company gives back to so many people in so many ways! High 5 Plumbing really does care about its community and helping others the best they can. Also, it is family-oriented and if anyone knows me, I love family!!! There is always something to keep you going or striving to become better, and that’s just based on the atmosphere alone. The people who work there make it better!”
Having Fun and Doing Good
Why does everyone at High 5 Plumbing member dress like baseball players? What’s with the jerseys?
Levi: You’re probably accustomed to the standard plumber’s uniform: starched, button-up collared shirts with everyone wearing the same thing, day in and day out. We wanted to sort of blow the lid off the stereotype of the dopey plumber with a chronic case of “plumber’s crack!”
We were on a mission to make plumbing bold, cool, fun, and sexy. Ultimately, we wanted to create a look for our business that people liked and could see themselves wearing just for fun.
The inspiration for the baseball jerseys was all thanks to Cassi. We were watching a baseball game one night, and she said, “man, I want a High 5 Plumbing uniform like that.” And we ran with the idea!
We started with cool gear for our technicians. They wear baseball jersey-style uniforms, and they can put together their uniform each day, choosing from three jersey styles and more than 20 hat options. They even help design a lot of the pieces, choosing the color schemes and patches they like best. Our technicians like the gear so much that they often wear it while not on the job which is an added bonus for our PR!
Besides the cool gear, what was your motivation for launching your apparel line?
Cassi: Levi first started designing apparel items in early 2019, and it’s been a creative outlet for him for sure! He loves designing and creating new items for the team and for our apparel shop.
In April 2020, we opened our online apparel shop, and it’s been a big hit for customers who like the High 5 Plumbing brand. We have hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts, jerseys, and more. Now everyone can “start every day with a High 5!”
But the coolest thing about the shop is our reason for starting it. We wanted to come up with creative ways to spread the High 5 Plumbing love and raise even more money for High 5 Plumbing Cares every month. So we started the apparel line. For every hat or t-shirt ordered, we donate $4 to the month’s High 5 Plumbing Cares spotlight nonprofit. It’s a win-win!
What’s Next for the Future of High 5 Plumbing?
Cassi: Our 2020 vision board is a good place to start to get an idea of what’s next for us. Just like the rest of the team, we created this to help grow the vision of our company. When we have certain goals we want to achieve or ideas we want to implement, we throw them on the vision board, so we can be intentional about working towards them.
There are obviously some milestones we will hit this year and some that we want to achieve in the long run! We will for sure hit our goal of 1,000 Google reviews in the next couple of months.
You can see that we really want to reach our goal of giving $36,000 to the High 5 Plumbing Cares program. It will be so awesome once we reach that goal.
We also have the map showing all the potential locations where we would like to sell a High 5 Plumbing license in the future.
And the picture of the big High 5 Plumbing building is the inspiration for a future home for us in Denver. Levi wants to have a big building which would include an apparel shop, a plumbing museum (how cool would it be to see some awesome old plumbing things in it?!), and a large enough space for our future team.
All in all, we’ve got big things in mind for the future of High 5 Plumbing, and we’re excited to make it happen!
Are you due for some plumbing maintenance? Maybe just a check-up to make sure everything is in working order? Get in touch to say hello and schedule your service with one of our certified plumbing technicians.
Call us today or contact us online to get your expert estimate—fair and honest every time. We look forward to seeing you!