Luce's Chimney & Stove Shop's unwritten code has always been, “Treat customers as family, and treat their homes as your own.”
The value for our customers is unlike other businesses.
We are really warm people who treat you like our own family.
From its conception, Luce’s Chimney and Stove Shop has been a local Toledo, Ohio area business focused on family.
In 1980 the company’s founder and owner, John Luce Sr., was searching for a way to earn extra income for his growing family. His search ended after reading the article, “Become a Chimney Sweep” in Mother Earth News. The article provided a blueprint for the type of service known to most people only by the singing and dancing sweeps of Mary Poppins fame.
John borrowed $1500 in start-up money from his dad, equipped his 1978 Volkswagen van with tools, and ventured out into the sooty world of the chimney sweep. In the beginning the company focused solely on service and was limited to jobs that could be completed out of that brown and tan VW van. John and his wife, Lou Luce, as well as a variety of family friends, scaled roofs and peeked inside fireplace flues.
As time went by, an office was established on Dodge Street in Swanton, and later the headquarters moved to John’s residence. John’s boys, Jeremy, Nathan and John Jr., also became part of the company’s fabric by learning the trade and growing into more prominent roles. The company expanded every year and soon began to offer the installation of fireplace hearth products. Now, almost 40 years later, Luce’s Chimney and Stove Shop has a storefront on Airport Highway in Swanton offering an expansive line of fireplaces, heating stoves, hearth products and more, as well as a full fleet of chimney cleaning vehicles and crew members.
The focus on family, however, has remained the same. John, Lou, and their sons are still staples of the company, and they take pride in knowing they have all contributed to creating a business based on their family values.
Meet your chimney & fireplace experts, both "in" and "out" of the soot!
Known fondly around the shop as the “Top Brick", John spends countless hours driving his truck, “Scooter,” to customers’ homes, writing fair, thorough estimates, researching & searching for original ways to better the company.
John holds a CSIA Chimney Sweep Certification, and he possesses an NFI Wood Technology Certification. Before starting his company, John spent 25 years as a Park Ranger for the Toledo Metro parks and his degree in Forestry from Michigan Technological University has provided his crew and customers with invaluable insight into forest land, timber, and conservation. John is always striving to keep the company “the best and on the cutting edge,” and brags about his first-class crew.
OUT OF THE SOOT John has three great loves in his life: family, music, and football. He is married to the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, his wife Lou, and is a father to six children and a grandfather to ten grandchildren. He often spends his Sundays either poolside, playing touch football on his lined field in the backyard, or both. His love of music is never too far away, though, as he has a studio in his garage where he regularly practices with the legendary Harley-Packer Band.
His drumming style can be described as a blend of John Bonham, Jim Fox, and Sam Lay. When he is not with one of his first two loves, John is often quite close to his third, the Green Bay Packers. He holds a special place in his heart for Bart Starr and Fuzzy Thurston. So much so that he bought a house in view of the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. It could be argued that John’s dream is to tailgate with his family before watching a Packers game in which he drums for Joe Bonamassa during the halftime show.
Lou Luce is the chief accountant & bookkeeper of the family business, as well as an assistant manager. Her most important function is her lovely signature on each & every paycheck! Everyone sweetly sings her praises & adorns her with compliments each payday.
Even though the boss’s wife has what the crew calls a “cushy” schedule, Lou has paid her dues in the field. In the dawn of the business she held a CSIA certification and was a bona fide chimney sweep! These days Lou’s fragrances are entirely too divine to be mistaken for a sweep. As Treasurer and someone who has one of the best smiles in the world, Lou brightens up the business!
OUT OF THE SOOT: Being married to "Top Brick" is a job in itself, but this multifaceted lady finds the time to lend her talents to the community. Lou is an active member of the Board of Directors of both the Swanton Rotary Club and the Swanton Chamber of Commerce. These responsibilities, however, never infringe on her most relished role as Nana.
Lou is the proud grandmother of ten grandchildren and she never shies away from spoiling them rotten. Whether she is decorating one of her exquisitely ornate cakes for a birthday, delightfully cheering at one of the many games she attends, or simply giving one of her caring hugs, at the end of the day she is the consummate grandmother, mother, and wife of her adoring family.
John has officially been a part of the Luce’s crew since July of 1998, but like many children who grow up in a family business, his fireplace and chimney services career began long before then.
John's role as crew leader makes him responsible for the crew’s job assignments & various managerial decisions. Determining the most effective and efficient way to assign daily duties requires an in-depth knowledge of not only the work that is to be done, but also the team members who complete the work. John’s experience with every type of installation & service at Luce’s, along with his understanding of the crew’s skills & strengths, give him the right skill set to manage the crew’s daily affairs.
Since the age of 18, John has also been a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and is often seen sweeping flues, inspecting smoke chambers, and evaluating the condition of customer’s chimneys. His role as chimney sweep and his talent for writing accurate estimates has enabled John to become the sales leader among the crew. He is also the chief of the gas installation division, due in large part to his expertise in gas appliances & his NFI Gas Technology Certification.
OUT OF THE SOOT: Life away the stove shop leads John to his wife, Andrea, and their son, Austin. A favorite pastime has become watching his boy tote the pigskin in youth football & smash home runs on the ball diamond. Though many of his idle thoughts are confined to plumbing gas lines in wonderfully damp, dark, and tight crawl spaces, the youngest son of "Top Brick" also enjoys the tranquility of the golf course. Even though there is some unavoidable crossover between home & work, John finds a way to balance it all in a way that makes him a success in both worlds.
Bill’s customer service and communication skills are second to none, which is one of MANY reasons he is seen as an integral part of the Luce's Chimney & Stove Shop crew!
Holding two NFI Certifications, one in Wood Technology & one in Gas Technology, Bill uses his superior intellect and ability to serve the company in a multitude of ways. His chief area of expertise is installing any fire appliance that needs to be vented, but he confesses that he has a soft spot for sweeping chimneys. A typical day at work for this master of draft and combustion is installing a woodstove, fireplace, fireplace insert, or pellet stove. These fire appliances also require chimneys, liners, or vents to be installed and Bill’s expertise and professionalism give every customer a first-rate heating system. He has excelled in the installation department so much that his duties now also include SunsSetter awning installations.
OUT OF THE SOOT: At home, Bill enjoys a life of leisure with his wife, Emily, and their daughter, Julianna. Spending time in the pool or out of town with his in-laws are common occurrences, but Bill’s true passion is found on the fairways and greens of the golf course. He is a self-proclaimed “awesome golfer” and no one can deny that Bill is on the short list when it comes time to make a scrambles team. This youngest of five children has also been known to enjoy studying history ever since his days at Ohio University where he earned a degree in Public Relations. Even though he graduated a Bobcat, he is often seen (and heard) applauding the efforts of his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes.
Prior to working for Luce’s Chimney and Stove Shop, Tom was a professional mason for twenty-seven years. He began the next phase of his career with our company in 2003 to fill the much-needed role of expert to all matters concerning masonry.
Known as the "Masonry King", Luce’s recruited Tom’s talents initially to assist in the restoration of several ornate, historical chimneys. The rest, as they say, is history. Thousands of bricks and stones later, Stoney’s handiwork has become the calling card of this masonry repair and masonry construction division of the company. He is the consummate professional who strives to make every chimney and hearth he builds a structure that will endure the test of time. In addition to his masonry prowess, Tom has also achieved an NFI Wood Technology Certification and a CSIA Chimney Sweep Certification. This jack-of-all trades can lend his abilities to any installation or service the company provides. Though his workmates sometimes confuse his old-school approach and deep-seeded wisdom for grouchiness, Tom is an integral part of each crew members’ day at Luce’s Chimney and Stove Shop.
OUT OF THE SOOT: Away from the mortar dust that consumes many of his days at work, Tom enjoys slipping into his pool at home, splitting firewood, doing home remodeling projects, and enjoying a hot cup of coffee in the evening with his wife, Jan. Tom’s true passion, however, lies in nature. He is an avid outdoor sportsman who regularly fishes and hunts, and one could argue he is a master of both domains. He has deep insights into every fishing hole in North America, and his mastery of archery can only be likened to the mastery of kung fu by the Shaolin monks. It has been rumored that Tom can take the wings off a fly at forty yards, but his modesty would never allow him to admit this publicly. It is possible that the call to hunt will lead Tom into some northern wilderness for the next chapter of his life. There he is likely to spend his time hunting and fishing great beasts, as well as teaching his apprentices the ways of the rod and reel and the powers of the bow and arrow.
Ray began with us in 2008 and was quickly given the task of taking the company paper files and transferring to digital. Ray’s duties at the store are, however, much more significant and exciting than his scanning task implies.
This Zen master administrates the forward-scheduling program that keeps every chimney flue in northwest Ohio (Toledo area) free of sooty buildup. It is Ray’s calm and soothing voice that customers often hear on the other end of the phone reminding them of the recommended annual chimney sweeping or gas service, and some are even so lucky to get Ray’s melodious tones permanently recorded on their answering machine.
The forward scheduling program is a vital part of the business and Ray’s professional approach keeps it a success. His warm and pleasing demeanor is also enjoyed by many of the customers who cross the threshold into the Luce’s Chimney and Stove Shop fireplace and wood stove showroom. Ray is a big reason that so many customers enjoy both calling and stopping by our fireplace showroom.
OUT OF THE SOOT:Ray is the one employee at Luce’s Chimney and Stove Shop whose profile cannot be done justice in a paragraph. His epic life and extraordinary achievements have become the stuff of legend. If one were to see Ray and his wife, Dar, out and about in Swanton, Ohio, he or she may be fooled into thinking Ray is just a mild-mannered gentleman of leisure who served the Village of Swanton for many years. However, when he straps on his Fender jazz bass guitar and sings sweet harmonies into the microphone, Ray becomes instantaneously recognizable as a local rock-n-roll icon and idol. He is a Swanton native and has been associated with every significant musical act in the tri-state region. His sons, Doug and Adam, can verify the mythical status of their legendary father. But the days of crowd surfing and amp smashing are in their twilight, and Ray has found a new delight. His Quarter Horse, Honey, has captured the zeal of this idyllic and iconic man. The stage and the pasture are where Ray feels most comfortable, and Luce’s is proud to be able to call Ray an employee.
Although Nathan is only a part-time with the company, his chimney roots with Luce’s Chimney and Stove Shop run deep.
Nathan has been sweeping chimneys and installing hearth appliances since 1998, and holds his CSIA Chimney Sweep Certification. Typically Nathan works the dog days of summer and picks up every year where he left off the previous. His knowledge of the business and its many services enable him to jump in any truck and assist with the day’s work. He is noted for attention to detail and organizational skills, as well as his ability to effectively communicate with customers on service calls and installations. What can he say, it’s in his blood!
OUT OF THE SOOT:Nathan’s life away from Luce’s Chimney and Stove Shop is quite eventful. He and his wife, Allison, have three wonderful children: Devin, Eleanor, and Madeleine. Family is Nathan’s number one priority on a daily basis. His full-time career is an English teacher at Otsego High School where he also coaches golf and basketball. Though his schedule can be viewed as hectic, Nathan just finished obtaining his Master’s degree and hopes to be blessed with more time to play golf and partake in the backyard football games that regularly take place in Top Brick’s backyard.
Dave is the newest addition the Luce’s crew and he is quickly learning the tricks of the trade.
Dave's background in customer service, repair, and maintenance makes him an excellent field technician as well as woodstove installer and chimney rebuilder. Dave received his chimney sweeping certification from the CSIA and now services all types of hearth appliances. Known by his co-workers to be a hard and relentless worker, Dave is sure to please customers with his attention to detail and respectful demeanor. He is already an asset to the crew and is helping customers every day.
OUT OF THE SOOT:There are few places one would find Dave away from Luces’s besides fishing at Coldwater. His passion for the rod and reel has led him to Canada, Minnesota, and many other remote locations. His first love is angling for walleye, but perch will do just fine is that’s what’s there. Sports come easy to Dave, and he is easily the most athletic member of the Luce’s crew. He would be a ringer at the Chimney Sweep Olympics if there were such a thing. In the little time he is not outdoors, Dave may be spend the hours sorting through his collection of baseball memorabilia and possibly polishing his Cal Ripken, Jr. collectables. He may also be monkeying with his red 1979 Corvette. He swears that one day he is going to get it painted.