With warmer days on the way, Thompson Pools and Supplies Company on Zetterower Avenue is gearing up for its 37th year of maintaining and building pools for local residents. A family owned operation, the company is known for its friendly, dependable service and consistent presence in the marketplace.
Founded in 1973 by Andrew Thompson and his sons Pat and Raymond, Thompson Pools is truly a family affair as eight of its 11 employees are family members. "It has always been this way," said Pat Thompson. "My brother Raymond, sister Sharon, and I have always worked here. Our children work here now. My father passed away a year and a half ago, but his presence is with us every day."
In 1974, the company built its first pool, and the Thompsons estimate that they have installed hundreds of pools since that time. Now, the largest pool maintenance company in the area has expanded beyond just building pools. The company installs irrigation systems and landscaping to accent the grounds around the pool.
"The pools that we used to construct were fairly cookie cutter," said Patrick Thompson, a 2005 Georgia Southern graduate and son of Pat Thompson. "Now people really want something a little different. They want something that is outside of the box. It really isn't a pool anymore, it is a pool with a pool scape. We even built a cave at one home."
Patrick Thompson works on the sales, marketing, and construction side of the business while his first cousin Matt Thompson, Raymond's son, oversees the service and cleaning end.
"I love working with my family," Patrick said. "Our grandfather taught us to work hard and service the customer. If a customer has a need or a problem, then you address it, or fix it. We operate on that premise everyday."
Local builder Jamey Cartee has worked with the Thompsons on a number of projects. "Up until their father passed away a year ago, there were three generations of pool builders working there," Cartee said. "You can see that in their work. They do not sacrifice quality to meet a price. They are going to deliver what they promise, and stand by their product."
With a steady stream of customers filing in with mason jars of pool water for the Thompsons to analyze, it's easy to see why the pool company's showroom is such a popular destination as the weather begins to turn warm. Happy to give advice and help customers weigh the pros and cons of different filtration and sanitizer systems, Thompson Pools has built a large, loyal clientele.
"They built our pool for us in 1982," said Statesboro resident Norman Wells. "I still buy my pool supplies from them. They are all good, helpful people, so friendly."
Sharon Thompson, the youngest of Andrew Thompson's four children, said she has worked at the pool company since the early 1980's. "I wouldn't have done anything differently," she said. "We have always treated people the way that we would want to be treated. I am proud to say that our business has grown based on our reputation."
Even though the closeness felt by the Thompson clan is readily apparent to the casual observer, each will be quick to admit that they don't always get along.
"We truly are a family business and we do disagree sometimes," Pat Thompson said. "I mean, we really will disagree, and we get it all out. But, once you have said what you have to say to one another, it's done. We don't go home mad, we just say our peace and get back to work. I think it is easier to do that when you are family. Nobody is going to lose their job by saying what is on their mind."
Thompson said that people sometimes hesitate to come in for help, because his company did not construct their pool. "We really don't care who built the swimming pool, we certainly are here to help maintain it. We love doing that all day long, every day."