Meet Our Specialists
L.J. Kruse Co. is a family-owned business celebrating a century of plumbing, heating and cooling in the Bay Area. We offer an extraordinary range of services, including commercial construction, engineering, BIM (Building Information Modeling) and a dynamic service and repair division. Our firm operates from a modern LEED Gold facility in Berkeley, California.
Our skilled union craftsmen pride themselves in meeting the technical challenges of new commercial construction and delivering quality repairs and maintenance to residential, commercial and industrial clients. Our focus is on plumbing and piping, but we also service and install residential and commercial heating and cooling systems.
The firm is currently managed by:
Andy Kruse— President and CEO
Nathan Kruse — Vice President and COO
Ben Kruse — Service Department General Manager
David Kruse — COB
Founder Louis J. Kruse was the son of a German immigrant who came to California to mine the gold fields of the Sierra foothills. Louis was born in Grass Valley in 1889, and when his father died a few years later in a mysterious mining accident, the family moved to San Francisco. Growing up in the city, Louis enjoyed working with his hands and studied gas fitting at Lick-Wilmerding, which was then a trade school.
After the great earthquake of 1906, Louis realized the vast potential for tradesmen in the East Bay and moved to Oakland. He built a home in the Rockridge neighborhood. In 1916, he opened his plumbing shop on College Avenue. After his death in 1946, his son, Edward H. Kruse, directed the fast post-war growth of the company. David Kruse, now Chairman of the Board, served as President from 1986-2015.
The firm now works in all five Bay Area counties and is managed by third and fourth generation leaders Andy Kruse, Nathan Kruse, Ben Kruse and Will Kruse. “We need youth and the energy it brings” Andy Kruse says. “When our grandfather was young, he had a vision and this next generation does too."
Andy Kruse, President and CEO
Andy is a graduate of UC Berkeley BA 1978. He oversees companywide operations, including estimating, project management, service and finance. He’s a past member of the Board of Directors Mechanical Contractors Association of America and has worked with L.J. Kruse Co. since 1985.
Nathan Kruse Vice President/COO
Nathan Kruse is the President & CEO who oversees and directs the day to day operations of LJ Kruse including estimating, and project management.
Nathan has a tremendous amount of pride being the 4th generation of the family business and is very fortunate to be able to say he truly enjoys the work he does. With an industry that is ever changing, no two projects are alike and the challenge of working through issues and being a part of the new generation of building and remodeling the San Francisco Bay Area is a surreal experience.
In addition to managing the company operations, Nathan also strives to maintain a world-class company culture. Through regular training and fostering individual development, LJ Kruse is more than a job, we are a family.
Outside of work, Nathan spends much of his time hiking and exploring Tahoe with his pups and family.
Benjamin Kruse, Service Department General Manager
Benjamin Kruse is the Vice President and a Project Manager who manages large projects while overseeing daily operations. He takes pride in building value for his community and clients through successful projects. Ben believes in working hard to uphold the high quality of work and customer service that helped build the LJ Kruse reputation over the last decade
“Helping our employees and their families thrive is a cornerstone of our culture and one of the best parts of my job.” -Benjamin Kruse
Benjamin is a Journeyman Plumber with the U.A. Local 342. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Vermont. When he is not on the job, you can find Ben hiking in local parks, skiing in Tahoe, or enjoying live music. Nothing makes him happier than seeing his daughter laugh.
Will Kruse is the Vice President and Service Manager who oversees the 10-technician service department at LJ Kruse. Will is honored to be passing down the same quality of service his family has been providing for over 100 years. He believes the values and quality of work his family has given the community can’t be matched. Will enjoys connecting with and creating relationships with his customers, many of whom have been using LJ Kruse in their homes for decades.
In addition to managing the Service Department, Will is a Journeyman Plumber and completed the 5 year Union Plumbing Apprenticeship Program. Will holds a Journalism degree from Boston University. When he is not busy rooting for the Oakland A’s, Will spends much of his time outdoors with his family and pups!
A century of service