Company-wide growth leads to six family-operated centers and 170 employees
Metro Lighting, a locally-owned family business, is celebrating its 50th anniversary as St. Louis’ source for the latest electrical and lighting solutions. Together, Metro Lighting and Metro Electric Supply have a total of 14 locations across five counties in Missouri with plans for growth in the near future.
In 1967, Jim Frisella and Charile Gagnepain bought St. Louis Electric Supply and established their new company, St. Louis Electric Supply. By 1971 and fresh out of college, Jim’s brother, Bill Frisella, joined the team to continue to grow the business, and open satellite locations known as Metro Electric Supply. It was in 1978 that Metro purchased an electrical distributor that also had a small 2,500 square foot lighting showroom, and launching what is now Metro Lighting. Bill Frisella owns and manages the company to this day.
“Our philosophy has always been to grow the business. We have had a momentous year and are looking at new locations in Missouri and even in several other areas of the country,” says Bill Frisella, president of Metro Electric Supply and Metro Lighting. “The company’s lasting success is due first and foremost to our customer service. There is a true focus on the customer at both Metro Electric Supply and Metro Lighting. We still make deliveries to electricians and builders on the job that need material fast, just like the old days when it was just St. Louis Electrical Supply.”
Since the beginning, Metro Lighting has stayed true to its roots, providing the ultimate customer experience. This means offering excellent customer service, expert advice, a great selection of top-quality, cutting-edge products for the best guaranteed price. In fact, Metro makes over 100 deliveries every day to the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and Cape Girardeau, confirming their drive to go above and beyond for their customers.
Metro has also stayed ahead of the curve, investing in its commitment to the environment. More than 15 years ago, Metro recognized the tremendous benefits of LED lighting and energy-efficient products in the industry. Metro is leading the charge of the GREEN initiative and has been recognized both locally and nationally for their efforts by AMEREN, the Department of Energy and the EPA. Metro is also a part of AMEREN Missouri’s energy partnership and is a Platinum Ally of AMEREN. They have gone as far as to install electric vehicle chargers at several locations and even purchased an all American made Nissan Leaf to let their customers know they are serious about energy efficiency and promoting energy efficient products.
“We jumped on the LED technology more than 15 years ago when it was new to the industry, says Frisella. “We saw the energy it could save and with the help of son Nick Frisella opened an energy department to have customers switch out florescent, HID and incandescent lights to LEDs and encouraged customers to replace outdated fixtures with new, advanced technology. We continue to work tirelessly with businesses and residential customers to meet their needs when it comes to energy savings.”
Starting with three employees working out of a small storefront located on Arsenal Street, the family business has grown to include about 170 employees. Bill’s daughter and son, Sarah King and Nick Frisella, have joined forces with their dad as well as additional members of his family to further expand the company and service their growing customer base.
METRO Lighting is a locally-owned family business. In 1967 St. Louis Electric Supply consisted of one delivery truck and a basement and a garage overflowing with circuit breakers, wire, and conduit. From these humble beginnings, Metro Lighting has grown into Missouri’s largest lighting distributor.