Roto-Rooter – GREENVILLE JOURNAL

Although Roto-Rooter is a well-known national brand, our local Roto-Rooter is owned and operated by a Greenville family. The company was purchased in 1984 by Gary and Patricia Eckberg.

In 1996, their daughter, Abby Eckberg Zaffuto, joined the team.

Abby was not planning on following her parents into the plumbing business, but as she and her soon-to-be husband, Michael, were about to graduate from Clemson, she began to consider it seriously. “It’s certainly not the most prestigious-sounding job, but my parents had this business and I recognized it as a good opportunity.”   Soon after, Mike, who had taken a job at Fluor Daniel, made the decision to join the company too.

When Abby’s father passed away in 1999, Abby and Mike were in place and able to assume leadership roles in the company.   Abby took on the role of general manager, while Mike earned a Master Plumber’s license and stepped in as service manager. Now, seventeen years later, they have become the driving force behind the growth the company has experienced. Abby’s mother, Pat, does keep her hand in and “her influence is still so important,” Zaffuto says.

“People tend to view us as a national brand, but we are very much local,” said Zaffuto, who moved to Greenville at age 8. Now she and Mike are raising their three children here – Katie, 14, Allie, 12 and Matthew, 7, all attending local schools. That adorable child you might have seen featured on Roto-Rooter billboards around town? That’s Matthew, who has loved being part of the family business.

With the Greenville business flourishing, expansion into other Roto-Rooter territories has been a natural fit. The company has added Anderson and Myrtle Beach territories in South Carolina, as well as Asheville, Hendersonville, Spruce Pine, and Wilmington in North Carolina.   “We do all of our human resources, accounting, dispatching, training and other functions right here in Greenville,” Zaffuto said. The company employs 45 people throughout the Carolinas and many of them have been with the company for more than a decade, growing with the enterprise over the years. With a commitment to reliable, affordable, efficient service – and a focus on hiring the right people – the business has grown steadily, even during economic downturns. After all, “everyone has plumbing!”

Abby attributes the company’s success to its family-oriented atmosphere and its commitment to customer service. “We’re a one-stop shop. We don’t subcontract labor, so we can do it all,” she said.

From residential plumbing services to larger plumbing tasks for commercial clients, the company’s goal is always customer satisfaction.   They are fortunate to have many loyal customers, including homeowners, hospitals, schools, apartment complexes, industrial plants and others.

The company has outgrown the space they moved into on Verdin Road in 2000, but they’ll soon be moving to larger building on nearby Tanner Road. “We were on top of each other,” Abby said. “Now we’ll have a training center and plumbing school in the new location. It’s an exciting time.”

While Abby Zaffuto may not have thought joining the family plumbing business sounded prestigious, after 20 years of fulfilling work, the Zaffutos love being the Upstate’s neighborhood plumber.

For this busy, entrepreneurial family, work, school and family activities keep them on the go. But they love traveling together and, of course, heading to their alma mater as often as possible. “Clemson football is a big part of our lives,” she said.

Roto-Rooter, 136 Tanner Road, Greenville, SC, 864.288.7686, rotorooter.com/greenville

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