Making a Splash

If you wanted new bathroom fixtures in 1930, you would call your plumber, who would purchase a standard toilet, sink, and bathtub and install them in your home. Function was paramount, and there was little to no choice for homeowners in terms of style. This began to change when the Portland Group opened the first bath and kitchen showroom in New England, which, while it offered only a fraction of what is available today, introduced homeowners to a variety of styles in plumbing fixtures.

Now celebrating 90 years of supplying homeowners and the trade with high-quality kitchen and bath fixtures, the Portland Group got its start in 1930 when Irving Rose and Benjamin Fox came together to expand Irving’s small hardware store in Boston. The business has since been passed down within the Rose and Fox families, and has expanded from one small hardware store to fourteen wholesale and seven retail locations throughout New England. Its six Spritzo showrooms include the Saco location that opened in 2004; the company also has a state-of-the-art interactive showroom, Splash, in Newton, Massachusetts.

The Spritzo and Splash retail locations offer a wide range of fixtures at every price point. Catering to both design professionals and retail customers, the showrooms feature the latest in kitchen and bath design from the industry’s top brands in classic, transitional, eclectic, and contemporary styles. They also carry an extensive array of smart home products, including Kohler Konnect, which has the ability to transform your bathroom and kitchen through voice-enabled technology. “The Kohler Konnect line is one of the best on the market right now for smart home technology,” says Donna Zinckmoore, director of retail operations for the Portland Group. “The voice activation, which is compatible with most systems, makes it so easy for the user and it can do everything from filling up a pot in the kitchen to setting the temperature of your shower.” Other products like the DTV+ Showering System allows you to create presets for sound, water, steam, and lighting. With the Verdera Voice-Lighted Mirror, you can adjust lighting levels and even check your calendar. The Sensate faucet functions as a virtual kitchen assistant: say the words and you’ll receive measured amounts of water, as well as other hands-free help.

Electric Mirror products are another innovation you’ll find at Spritzo in Saco. These products are the perfect smart home solution for anyone who gets ready in the bathroom every morning,” says Zinckmoore. “With Ava, you can easily change from morning light to afternoon or evening light, and the Keen light allows for one-touch dimming. It can be pre-set, but the system automatically dims your lighted mirror after an hour of non-use, so you’re helping the environment even if you forget to turn the lights down. Both of these products also reduce energy consumption by 60 percent.”

With what seems like constant innovation in kitchen and bath products, the Portland Group will be expanding and renovating the Spritzo Saco location this year as part of its ninetieth birthday celebration. “The larger space will allow us room to showcase more of the latest products, and it will create a more customer-friendly environment,” says Zinckmoore.

The expertise, customer service, wide range of styles, price points, and staying up-to-date with the latest innovations is what sets the Spritzo and Splash retail showrooms apart. The Portland Group’s 90-year success story has been built on the foundation of strong relationships and a commitment to changing with the times, while continuing the traditions of customer service and quality products that have defined the company from the very beginning.

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