Kent Tong was born and raised in Tiffin, OH with his two sisters and his brother. His father, Douglas Tong, owned and operated a plumbing and heating business out of their home; so Kent was raised around Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing work his whole life. He recalls fond memories of when he used to go out on calls with his father, and sit and watch him work, just like Kent did with his son Luke.
While attending Columbian High School Kent met his “sweetheart” Wendy. They married shortly after graduation and began their life together. Kent attended college full time while working at a local plumbing and heating company in Tiffin. During this time Kent and Wendy started their family. When their son Luke was 7, and their daughter, Danielle was 5, Wendy looked at Kent and said: “You’ve always dreamed of opening your own shop, let’s go for it!”
On Jan 1st 1986, Tong’s Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing became a reality. They started off small, working the business with Kent, one truck and Wendy working the office from their basement. Wendy recalls stories of writing invoices while the kids sat at the desk next to her coloring or doing their homework. As their children grew, so did their company! Many people had heard of Kent’s dedication to his customers and his honesty and they spread the news. Eventually, they had so many customers they needed a bigger office, so Kent & Wendy remodeled their garage and put the office out there. By this time the kids were much older and self reliant. Their daughter, Danielle, was in middle school and their son, Luke, was in high school.
Throughout the years Tong’s Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing has earned a reputation for honesty, hard work and its dedication to its customers.
Tong’s really is a family business. The kids have always been seen helping out around the office. From shoveling the driveway to getting the mail. Kent and Wendy knew when they started Tong’s that raising a family while running a business would be quite difficult. They wanted to be available to the kids for anything they may need. So they kept the business close to home until their children were through college. Now both Luke and Danielle work in the business. Also with both of Luke’s and Danielle’s spouse’s Alanna Tong and Brad Schimmoeller, respectively, are working in the company, it truly is a family run business. With all of their children out of the house, Kent & Wendy had an opportunity to buy a building in downtown Tiffin. They purchased and remodeled 40 E. Perry St. into a vibrant location with a showroom, counter sales area, warehouse, offices and more.
Many things have changed over the years, but you can still find all four of them working together to give each customer the attention they need. Even today you can find children in their offices. Now it is their grandchildren that you can occasionally hear loud giggles from. The next generation of the Tong family is in place, ready to meet its next big adventure. You can be assured that the next generation will treat each and every customer and their homes with the same respect and dedication it has always received from Kent.
The Tong family and their employees strive to meet the needs of an ever changing field of air conditioning, heating and plumbing equipment and technology.