Ray’s Appliance still going strong after 50 years
Published 11:18 am Monday, February 27, 2017
GROVES — A career change that started as a leap of faith for Ray Lopez grew into a passion that would span 50 years.
Ray and his wife, Edie, of Ray’s Appliance Service, recently celebrated 50 years in the business.
“We started our business on Feb. 20, 1967 working out of our home and we still are,” Edie Lopez said. “We have always worked out of our home, him doing service calls on major appliances in customers homes and me doing all the office work.”
Ray had worked for 13 years with Jim Appliance where he gained knowledge and experience in repairing small appliances. With a young son and a baby girl on the way, the couple made the decision to own their own business.
“We paid off all our bills and had $50 to our name but he knew how to do this,” she said.
Edie knew she didn’t want someone else taking care of her children so instead of getting a job she joined with her husband doing the bookwork for the business.
Ray’s Appliance has been involved in contract work with major appliances such as GE, Kitchenaid and Frigidaire. He has worked on washers and dryers, refrigerators, freezers, microwaves and more.
“He can fix anything,” she said.
A framed receipt in the couple’s home holds their very first work receipt where labor costs were $7.50. Another frame holds a thank you note from St. Mary Church for work Lopez did for the church.
Through the years there wasn’t much time for vacations. The family put in a pool so their children could have fun summers with friends coming over. Some of those friends, along with their children, have worked for Ray’s Appliance.
Edie Lopez told a story of how, during evacuation for a hurricane, Ray became worried about being away from the business and not being there for their customers. She finally told him that no one is in town.
“He’ll go to bed and I’ll look over at his and ask what are you doing?” she said. “He’s thinking about his customers.”
Ray said he often will call a customer to follow-up on work done to make sure the appliance is running correctly.
Ray is also a talented carpenter having built two camps on Toledo, part of his home and patio furniture.
When not working the couple enjoy spending time with their Yorkie, Jodie, and traveling but Ray’s not ready to close shop yet.
“I don’t want to retire,” Ray Lopez said. “What am I going to do, sit in that chair?”
Reporter: Mary Meaux — 409-721-2429