Our History, Promise, and Mission


C. E. Thurston & Sons was founded in 1919 when C. E. Thurston, Sr., organized a small distribution business representing several mechanical packing manufacturers. Soon after, insulation, marine and cold storage contracting were added to the business. In 2002, C. E. Thurston & Sons began focusing solely on contracting and sold its distribution business.

In 2010, under new ownership, C. E. Thurston began marketing its business and growing. During this period of restructuring and revitalization of the business, several customers inquired about the potential return of the distribution business at C. E. Thurston. Upon listening to our customers, we decided to move back into the industrial distribution business in June 2012 launching C. E. Thurston and Sons Distributing, LLC.

In 2014, to enhance our return to the distribution and expand our customer base, C. E. Thurston acquired Empire Machinery & Supply, a well-established industrial distribution company based in Norfolk, Virginia, and founded in 1914.

Today, all our prior business units, previous acquisitions, and both the distribution and contracting services divisions, operate under one company, C. E. Thurston & Sons, Inc. Thus we have returned to our founder’s original business structure and are excited about the future and the opportunity to work with and exceed our customers and suppliers expectations.


Our Commitment to Customers

C.E. Thurston & Sons, Inc., has the capabilities of handling large multi-trade projects with the responsiveness and personal attention usually offered only by smaller contractors and distributors. We can quickly mobilize qualified personnel, materials and equipment.

Our customers know we have the experience and commitment to complete each project in a safe manner, on time and to provide the highest quality products to various industries through our combined relationships with customers and vendors.



The mission of C.E. Thurston and Sons is to solve customer problems with the highest quality products and level of service, provided by good citizens that are dedicated to keeping commitments.