In the luxury custom home building industry there are a handful of brand names that are well-known and often utilized because of their quality, service, and reliability. Among these is Wolf / Subzero. Sub-Zero Group, Inc., creates luxury refrigeration, cooking, and dishwashing appliances for residential use.
Since 1945 the Subzero Group, Inc. has maintained the mindset to build the best, highest-quality refrigeration. Current president Jim Bakke quotes his grandfather, Westye Bakke: “If you build a quality product, you will always have customers”. Westye began to experiment with refrigeration in the 1930s in an effort to find a storage solution for his son, Bud’s, insulin supply. The company has always been family-owned and continues to be led by the third generation of the Bakke family.
Striving to evolve their environmental stewardship, they have implemented the following sustainable practices:
Manufacturing for Wolf / Subzero is located in several facilities throughout Wisconsin and Arizona. Through showrooms and regional distributors, their products are sold globally. With supply challenges across the board in the building industry, the following product availability statement has been published on their website:
Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove Appliances | Product Availability (subzero-wolf.com)
We work closely with our friends at Ferguson Enterprises Asheville to provide Wolf / Subzero appliances to our homeowners. Their Outside Sales Representative, Josh Shipman, shares some of his thoughts and story with us below:
Q: Name of product you would like to feature
Q: What sets this product apart from others?
They are the best in the industry. They have the best quality, best service, and best warranty of any manufacturer in the business. As a former chef it is a delight to cook with their products. They have the highest btu’s and the lowest btu’s for cooking. Their refrigeration keeps food fresher longer than any other brand. With their NASA developed air purification system, there is no transfer of smells or taste from cross contamination.
Q: How did you get involved with Ferguson?
I am a third-generation plumber. My dad is a plumber, and my grandfather was a plumber. I have been in the plumbing business my entire life. As mentioned above, I am also a former chef. I went to culinary school after playing baseball in college and was working as a chef when we had back-to-back hurricanes destroy the restaurant. After that, I left the restaurant business. I went back plumbing with my dad before I had an opportunity to interview with Ferguson. With my background in plumbing, I got the job. I worked my way up to branch manager in less than 3 years. I started in the warehouse like everyone does with Ferguson and have worked my way to the position I have always wanted. I am now an outside salesman and I love what I do. I get the opportunity to use my plumbing knowledge to help clients, as well as my culinary expertise to help with appliance selections. I occasionally get to use our live showroom kitchen and cook for clients and events. Ferguson is a spectacular company to work for!
Q: What is your craziest / most interesting product / install story?
The craziest install story I have is having to use a crane to fly in a 48” Subzero fridge into a kitchen. The job was a remodel, and the driveway was so steep we had to off load the fridge from our box truck onto a pickup truck. There was no way to get the unit to the kitchen area at the rear of the home, so we lifted it to the back deck and had four guys carry it from the deck into the kitchen. There was a lot of moving parts to this, but with our professional install team and coordination with the crane company, we were able to fly in the fridge and the range. The client was ecstatic and amazed at what we did for them.
Q: Who do you look up to when it comes to the products you sell? Has there been a mentor encouraging your professional growth?
My brother is my mentor. He also works for Ferguson and is my boss. He has helped me grow professionally and has encouraged me every step of the way. We used to work in the same store together many years ago. We used to argue every day. At the end of the day, it was just business. We are both so passionate about what we do. We always made up and moved on to the next challenge. I am so proud and happy to represent us both. He and I both won a national sales and leadership award, and we were recognized across the nation. It was such an honor for me to share the spotlight with my big brother!
Article by Jennifer Scott
Photography by Kevin Meechan