Heather Laura Clarke · SaltWire Staff · Posted: May 26, 2021
Jayme Rhyno (right) of Rhyno’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration celebrates one year of merging businesses with Paul Langille (left) from Langille’s Plumbing & Heating Limited. - Photo Contributed.
When Harry Rhyno started an appliances and refrigeration business in Riverport back in 1975, the goal was simply to make enough money to pay his mortgage and feed his family.
Sometimes his customers would pay him in freshly-caught lobster and scallops. He worked hard and raised his children to know the value of integrity: You give your word and stick to it — and if something happens, you make it right.
He sometimes ran into Gilbert Langille at events for local business owners, chatting over free coffees and sandwiches about their different fields. Gilbert had started a small plumbing business out of his home in 1964, he didn’t really expect it to go beyond himself in a single truck.
“I just took each customer at a time, and never really thought about how many I would get,” Gilbert reflects quietly, 57 years later.
Harry Rhyno (left) and Gilbert Langille (right) never imagined their businesses would join forces one day, but both agree it was the right decision for everyone. - Photo Contributed.
Langille’s Plumbing & Heating Limited went on to become well known across the South Shore, picking up Best Plumber in previous South Shore Breaker Readers’ Choice awards and building a solid reputation as a plumbing company you could trust. Gilbert’s son, Paul, started working full-time with the family business in 1980 and purchased it in 1997 when Gilbert retired.
Just a few years prior over at Rhyno’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Harry’s 13-year-old son, Jayme, had started working with his father during weekends and summers. They were picking up their own slew of awards for Best Heating/Cooling Company, and Jayme went on to take over the business in 2010 so Harry could retire.
With Gilbert’s son, Paul, heading up Langille’s, and Harry’s son, Jayme, heading up Rhyno’s, the two business owners came together and decided to join forces.
Both companies had excellent reputations, and Jayme and Paul say it simply “made sense” to combine Rhyno’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration with Langille’s Plumbing & Heating Limited to form a stronger, larger company and provide better service for homes and businesses across the South Shore.
“Growing up in Bridgewater, Rhyno’s and Langilles were always names you recognized. We knew there was value in both brands,” says Jayme. “We’re one business now — and we’re stronger together.”
The merger was officially announced on April 15, 2020, but with all the COVID-related chaos of last spring — with its shutdowns and school closures — many folks still don’t realize the two businesses came together.
Paul says it’s not uncommon for a customer to call Rhyno’s to inquire about one service, and call the Langille’s number a minute later to ask about another service — and realize they’ve reached the same friendly voice on the line.
“Sometimes customers are really surprised at first and they laugh, like ‘Oh! It’s the same company,’” says Paul. “But they’re happy we’re able to offer everything they need, all under one business. It makes things so much easier for our customers, rather than having to deal with four or five different companies.”
“Growing up in Bridgewater, Rhyno’s and Langille's were always names you recognized. We knew there was value in both brands,” says Jayme Rhyno. - Photo Contributed.
‘OUR MAGIC HAS ALWAYS BEEN OUR PEOPLE’
While they need to hold off on any in-person anniversary celebrations, the team is excited to offer special promotions as a way of thanking their loyal customer base for standing by them — like receiving up to $500 off on all equipment purchases.
Now that the two teams have had a year to adjust to working together, Jayme and Paul are proud of everyone’s efforts to build strong relationships — especially considering they weren’t able to socialize in the usual ways, at company BBQs and staff gatherings.
“There probably aren’t many companies who could survive a huge transition like this while also weathering a pandemic,” chuckles Jayme. “But we had a vision, we stuck with it, and we’re all very happy together. We’ve worked hard, as owners, to bring everyone together — but every single employee gets the credit for trying. Our magic has always been our people.”
Because of the new team’s size and huge range of specialties, they’ve been able to take on bigger, more complex jobs that neither company could have managed if they were still on their own — like working with Treehouse Village Ecohousing, a family‑friendly, multi‑generational, green housing development in Bridgewater.
The technicians are loving that offering a larger list of services gives them the opportunity to train in new areas, grow their careers and enjoy a variety of interesting, meaningful work — rather than doing the same few tasks, day in and day out.
Moving forward into 2021 and beyond, Paul Langille says they’re setting their sights on building the business by hiring even more employees and taking on bigger jobs. - Photo Contributed.
The merger has been so successful, in fact, that Rhyno’s is positioned to grow even larger — with plans to bring more skilled tradespeople on staff full-time throughout 2021. Jayme says they’re attracting top talent with a package that includes excellent benefits, paid holidays, vacation days and personal days, offering “over and above industry standards.”
“We believe in supporting the whole person, not just as an employee, but as someone with a life of their own — family, friends, hobbies and personal goals,” says Jayme. “We believe that if you take care of the whole person, they’re able to bring their best self to work every day and happily put in 100 per cent.”
Team members are armed with core values of “Quality is a must,” “Honour our commitments,” “Encourage long-term development and growth,” “Act with integrity,” and “Customize our solutions,” which Jayme says gives them the ability to make their own calls in a given situation.
“Our employees are able to be more entrepreneurial and have the autonomy to make decisions based on our core values,” Jayme explains. “We’re very grateful for our team, and we also want to thank the community for their continued support — allowing us into your homes and businesses during such an unusual year.”
The merger of Rhyno’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration and Langille’s Plumbing & Heating Limited was officially announced on April 15, 2020, but with all the COVID-related chaos of last spring — with its shutdowns and school closures — longtime employee Mary Comeau says many locals still don’t realize the two businesses came together. - Photo Contributed.
Moving forward into 2021 and beyond, the team is setting their sights on building the business by hiring even more employees and taking on bigger jobs.
They’re already seeing a lot of calls from folks inquiring about cooling solutions like heat pumps with air conditioning, and the booming real estate market has resulted in many requests for their technicians to accompany home-buyers and provide visual inspections of a property’s heating, hot water and plumbing equipment — giving them peace of mind on a home’s systems before committing to putting in an offer. For Rhyno’s and Langille’s, the future has never looked brighter.
Reflecting on everything that’s happened with a small business he started back in 1964, Gilbert Langille says it’s a nice feeling to know there’s still something to show for his decades of hard work.
“It feels good to know we’ve helped to build Rhyno’s, and I like to see our name go on,” Gilbert says.
Back when Harry Rhyno first started out in 1975, he “never could have imagined” the kind of success Rhyno’s would eventually reach — or that Rhyno’s would team up with Langille’s — but he’s pleased with how everything turned out.
“We always sold ‘quality of service,’ and Gilbert was the same way. Langille’s has always had a good reputation,” says Harry. “I’m very proud of the way the business is today. It’s gone far beyond what I ever could have imagined, and I think Jayme and Paul are far better business people than I ever was. It’s a good fit.”