First published in April 2022
A few years ago, opportunity came knocking, and Paul Langille listened. Jayme Rhyno was looking to expand, and thought ‘what better way to do that than to merge with a well-known established company?’ It’s no secret that Rhyno’s and Langille’s are both family-owned, second generation companies; Rhyno’s specializing in heating and cooling and Langille’s specializing in plumbing as well as heating design and water treatment systems.
On April 15, 2020, they made it official. It was the start of the pandemic, and despite concerns that Covid would cause a depression, the two companies felt that repairs and service would always be needed, and they went ahead with the deal. It felt like a very natural fit to merge the trades and offer customers a full range of services in one call. No one could have predicted that one of the outcomes from the pandemic would be a construction industry boom.
BUT WAIT! There’s another reason to celebrate. At the end of April, Paul Langille is retiring.
Paul was deeply committed to staying on to help with the cross-over. It was important to pass on the legacy of the Langille’s name and the wealth of expertise in plumbing, geothermal and heating design to the Rhyno’s team.
Paul’s dad started the Gilbert Langille’s plumbing and heating business in Bridgewater in 1964. Paul started helping his dad in the shop when he was 14. By the time he was 16, he was juggling school, sports and working part-time in retail – learning the art of listening and talking to customers and the value of hard work – skills that would be needed for the future. He was soon working fulltime with his dad, starting a family of his own, raising two lovely daughters and working hard to make a good life. In 1997, he purchased the business from his dad, changed the name to Langille’s and gradually expanded their services.
“We were the first company on the South Shore to offer colour video pipe inspection,” says Paul. “In 2013, we became the only authorized dealer in the South Shore area to carry the Mitsubishi line of heat pumps. I’ve always been interested in energy efficiency and I’m constantly on the lookout for high quality products. The focus was always on quality, reliability and efficiency, believing that the customer will remember you by the equipment that is saving them money and not breaking down.”
The legacy of the Langille’s name is also about caring for the people. Since family and sports have always played a big part in Paul’s life, he learned very early on the importance of being on a team and caring about each person – that you need team effort to become champions.
“Even if you’re on the bench or an apprentice just starting out, you’re still part of the team,” Paul explains. That philosophy has served him well. Employees and customers alike have been very loyal. When the merger happened, he wanted to make sure this team was settled and integrated!
All of the Langille’s employees came over and more staff have been added as the company gains more customers. One employee in particular, Mary Comeau, has been key to a successful transition. She reminds the staff on a regular basis, “if we don’t look after our customers, somebody else will.”
“A lot of effort has gone into making it a good experience for the customer, to ensure a smooth transition,” says Mary. “We want to do right by them. The two companies share the same philosophy of how important the customer is to the company.”
“Mary helped grow the company as much as I have,” says Paul. “She was instrumental in the success of Langille’s. No question.”
Mary is still the one scheduling service calls with Langille’s customers and notes that they have been very loyal. She loves Rhyno’s planned service and was actually part of the creation of it with Harry Rhyno several years ago, so she is pleased that it can now be offered to Langille’s customers.
In 1975, Harry and Sharon Rhyno started an appliance and refrigeration business in Riverport. Harry was always humming. He loved his work and was known for his integrity. If someone called, Harry would always fit them in. If he said he was going to do something, he always did it. Everybody knew Harry Rhyno and knew they could depend on good service.
In 2010, Jayme took over the company and those core values ring true to this day. “They are the seeds that were planted early on – to act with integrity, honour your word and customize your solutions to meet the customers needs,” Jayme says. “Like Gilbert and Paul Langille, the belief that if you can stand behind the quality of your product and the assurance that it will last, allows you the ability to serve the customer well.”
Both Harry and Gilbert were sticklers for customer service. The companies they established so many years ago set the standards and principles that are being carried forward today. With the merger, it has been a big responsibility to take on two well-established names. That responsibility has been overshadowed by the excitement of how fortunate it is to inherit these legacies, and what that means to the community!
“HVAC/R and plumbing have exponentially grown since we came together in 2020 – the possibilities for the future are exciting, and the union of the two companies has created a ‘one-stop’ shop,” Jayme says with pride. “It’s opened doors to doing multi-trade and multi-phased larger projects.”
Rhyno’s is thankful that Paul was onboard for the last two years. They are grateful for his commitment in helping to bring the teams together and for sharing his years of experience and skills. He can retire knowing his people are well cared for and the customers will continue to receive the quality service he was known for.
“I’ve been working full time for 42 years,” says Paul. “When I was running the business, I was working 70 hours a week and then doing pricing at home. Since the merge I’ve been working 45 hours a week and now I’m going to maybe 5 hours a week. I’ve told them I’m just a phone call away,” he says with a smile. “I have always loved the work. And I know I’m going to miss talking to customers and having conversations with the staff… making them laugh when things get too serious. But it’s time.”
Paul’s dad, Gilbert adds, “We were very pleased that Paul was willing to take over and then buy the business in 1997 and keep the Langille’s name going. Our reputation was built upon value, and I feel confident that Langille’s legacy will continue as long as the value of the two companies merging is promoted. We will miss Paul not being involved.”
At the moment, Paul is looking forward to enjoying the summer. He’s always been active and having the luxury of time to get out on the jet boat, jet ski and motorbike will be a welcome change. In September he will be taking a trip across Newfoundland in his side-by-side – a retirement ‘bucket list’ item!