Eight decades. Four generations. Baker Electric celebrates their 80th anniversary.
In 1938, San Diego was a sleepy navy town of 300,000 people. Leroy Neville Baker, newly arrived from Montana, paid $4,000 to purchase the Dietrich Electric Shop in Escondido, which he promptly renamed Baker Electric. With the family name on his truck, he went about setting high standards for customer service and pride in craftsmanship.
Leroy Baker could have never imagined that 80 years later, his great-grandson, Ted Baker, would lead the same company with hundreds of employees and with technology that he could only dream of.
“We’re honored to have grown as a company as San Diego has transformed from small town to world-class city,” says Ted Baker. “Our secret—the long-standing relationships we have with our clients and our ongoing commitment to providing outstanding service.”
Today, Baker Electric, Inc. has almost 650 employees and revenue in the 100 millions. Baker Electric offers general electrical contracting to a variety of clients, including CSU San Marcos, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Air Force, Palomar College, Valley View Casino, and John Wayne Airport.
The company’s story intertwines with the story of the Baker family. Shortly after its founding, Baker Electric became a multigenerational affair when Neville L. Baker, Leroy’s son, moved to San Diego in the early 1940s to lead the growing electrical work at Camp Pendleton and Naval Base San Diego. The military presence in San Diego was rapidly expanding during World War II to accommodate the thousands of sailors and Marines arriving for training, and Baker Electric was honored to be part of the effort.
With each generation, Baker Electric continued to expand. Neville Baker became president after his father passed away in 1953. The focus of the company transitioned from appliance repair and pipe and cable jobs to commercial electrical contracting. Neville managed the business until his son, Kent, took over in 1982. The current president, Ted Baker (Kent’s son), started with Baker in 1994 and became managing president in 2000.
In the past decade and a half, Baker Electric has more than doubled in size, both in revenue and number of employees. In 2005, Baker added a new solar residential company—Baker Electric Solar, which this year rebranded as Baker Electric Home Energy to reflect the new services they provide. In 2006, Baker Electric built a state-of-the-art headquarters building in Escondido equipped with solar and one of California’s first energy storage units to dispatch power during peak periods. And to meet growing opportunities in the Riverside and Los Angeles region, Baker Electric expanded with new offices in Rancho Cucamonga and Cerritos.
“We’ve made a commitment to diversification and jumping into new markets and technology,” says Ted Baker. “Diversification helps us grow when the economy is strong and weather downturns as well. We’re currently active in the military, education, health care, technology, manufacturing, hospitality, Indian gaming, and multifamily housing industry sectors.”
Baker Electric has been very intentional in giving back to their community. The company supports nonprofits by sponsoring fundraising events, providing volunteers, and donating electrical services. Baker focuses on children and youth development by supporting the Boys and Girls Clubs and Junior Achievement, and it supports families in need through Ronald McDonald House and the San Diego Food Bank.
“We are proud to give back to the community where we do business,” says Ted Baker. “The first 80 years have been incredible, and we look forward to another amazing 80 years.”