CASTRO VALLEY − As owner of one of the East Bay’s premier kitchen and bath showrooms, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Ric Plummer is at a high point in his professional career. However, there was a time when being at elevated heights was literally part of his everyday job. “I started out doing framing and drywall in San Francisco high-rises, including Four Embarcadero Center, one of the city’s tallest buildings,” he says. “After fifteen years, I grew tired of working in the city and decided to go into business for myself.” As an independent kitchen and bathroom remodeling contractor, Ric started out small, making house calls and working out of a pickup truck. Eventually, he progressed from his truck bed to a central location, opening Ric’s Kitchen & Bath Showroom in 1996.
Today, Ric says his favorite part of his job is bringing clients’ projects from vision to reality. “I like it when we’ve accomplished a difficult project, and the homeowner is amazed that it came together the way I said it would. To me, that’s better than money.”
A resident of Castro Valley (where he lives with his wife, Debbie), Ric says he enjoys living in a place that offers the best of both worlds. “I like the fact that I live in the country, but I’m only five minutes from the city. It’s also just a nice area to live in, having grown over the years from a little cow town into an active and diverse community.”
Outside of work, Ric divides his time between two principal hobbies: hot rods and horses. “I love old cars and have a workshop on my ranch where I rebuild them from the bottom up,” he says. “I own six different hot rods and like to compete in car shows. My other major pastime is raising and training horses. My son, Dillon, competes in equestrian events, and during the season, he trains six days a week here at the ranch.”
In his life and career, Ric espouses the importance of surrounding one’s self with the right people. “I’m only as good as the people behind me,” he affirms. “In this business, there are a lot of variables, so it’s vital to have competent people that can keep things organized and moving efficiently. From my floor staff to our product suppliers, I make it a point to work with people I can trust and whose quality of work I’m happy with.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Ric replies that he wouldn’t. “My business is a big part of my life, and if I retired, I would miss it,” he says. “When I wake up each morning, I don’t lament having to go to work, rather, I look forward it, so I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon.”