Frank Alahwal: Plumbing Proprietor
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
PACIFICA — Frank Alahwal always wanted to start a business—he just wasn’t sure what kind it would be. He certainly didn’t expect it to be a plumbing business, but that’s exactly how things turned out. “I first became interested in plumbing while helping a friend remodel investment properties,” he recounts. “I’d been in the restaurant business for nearly a decade at that point, so doing some hands-on work was a refreshing change of pace. We dabbled in several different trades, but plumbing was the one that really appealed to me. When my friend showed me how to solder pipes, I was fascinated. Eventually, I decided to pursue plumbing as a career and got a job with Roto-Rooter. Over the next few years, I continued to gain knowledge and experience until I finally got my license and started my own company.”
Today, as owner of F&A Plumbing and Rooter, Frank says he derives a lot of satisfaction from running his own business. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business, so when I decided to get into plumbing, that was my goal from day one. It’s just a passion of mine. Being a business owner can be very stressful, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
A resident of South San Francisco (where he lives with his wife, Kimberly), Frank expresses his appreciation for work and life in the city. “Workwise, I’m pretty lucky to be in such a central location—not only am I close to my vendors, I hardly ever have to cross a bridge to get to a job. I also enjoy the social perks of living in the city. Whether eating out with friends or going to the movies, there’s no shortage of things to do here.”
In his life and career, Frank espouses the importance of doing right by others. “If I could sum up my philosophy, it would be, ‘Don’t cut corners.’ I believe in respecting others, and a big part of respect is doing what you say you’re going to do. If you want to be truly successful in your life and career, you have to give 100 percent. If you try to cut corners, you’re not only going to let others down, you’re going to let yourself down as well.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Frank says he’d take an extended vacation. “Being a business owner, I don’t have many opportunities to get away, so that would be the first thing on my list. I’d probably head to a tropical location like Hawaii, Costa Rica or Tahiti—basically anywhere with a nice beach.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What are your favorite types of movies?
A: I like smart thrillers and silly comedies.
Q: Who makes you laugh?
A: Dave Chappelle.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Chips—either Doritos or Cheetos.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Shot glasses. I get one every time I visit a new place.
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: A night owl, for sure.