Fourth generation family business opens a new showroom in University City

After 69 years, Crescent Plumbing Supply has relocated to a newly built showroom, office, and warehouse in University City (6614 Olive). Since 1955, the company had operated out of a historic building on Rosedale behind The Pageant. That building was originally intended as a bus or trolley garage for the City of St. Louis, says CEO Joe Rotskoff. 

Joe’s great-grandfather, Ike Rotskoff, a Polish immigrant, founded the family business in 1905 and named it I. Rotskoff Supply Co. It operated in several iterations and locations before landing on Rosedale. 

“There’s some cool history behind the building, but it was very limited in its capacity and functionality for a warehouse space, which we really needed, and it would have been difficult and expensive to rehab the building, so moving was always something that we’ve had our eyes on for the last couple of decades,” Rotskoff says. 

The new 76,000-square-foot location was built to suit the specific needs of the company, including a warehouse, office space, and the customer showroom, which occupies just over 4,000 square feet.

“This property was just the perfect opportunity for us. It’s only a mile west of our previous location so for our clientele it’s not a difficult leap to find the new place,” says Rotskoff.

Crescent worked with Minneapolis-based The Opus Group to design and build the space. While the warehouse is predominant, a more functional office space for staff is a welcome change. So is the more than 1,000 square foot increase in the size of the showroom.

That new showroom allows Crescent to organize its displays with greater intention, which is a welcome change after cramming as much as possible into the previous tight fitting and awkwardly divided showroom.

“This is one full contiguous space that feels like, no matter what brand is represented, you’re in the same spot. It just flows beautifully and the layout makes sense,” Rotskoff says. “We have great support from our manufacturers’ representatives, many of whom are on site, helping build the displays and championing their own brands and helping us beautify the space.”

Customers can peruse displays from top-tier brands, such as Kohler, House of Rohl, Brizo, Delta, Jaclo, Newport Brass, Moen and Kallista, as well as vignettes that show various products in a bathroom setting, helping clients visualize how they might look in their own home or office.

The feedback so far has been positive.

“I think it’s really kind of touching how people are happy for us,” he says. “It’s this sincere appreciation for us and what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

Running a multi-generational family business is a source of pride. Rotskoff manages the company with his cousin, COO Steve Rotskoff, carrying on the legacy set by their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfather. 

“Steve and I are just trying to pick up where they left off, keep evolving and taking it to the next level,” he says.

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