LeRoy Baker The Man Who Started It All
Baker Electric was founded by Leroy Baker way back in 1938. We’re a fourth generation, family-owned business founded in Escondido, California, where we’ve remained ever since. Here’s our story.
A member of the National Electrical Contractors Association since 1957, we’ve been engineering and installing electrical systems for more than 78 years for a variety of industries in both public and private sectors.
Baker Electric Home Energy was formed in 2007 to meet the growing demand in the residential solar installation sector. We’ve installed over 10,000 residential solar system throughout San Diego, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
LeRoy Baker graduated from the University of Nebraska and moved to New York to work for GE. Years later he began to migrate west and wound up in Missoula, Montana where he served as one of four electricians in the area. LeRoy was fond of hunting and fishing and the sprawling landscapes of Montana fulfilled his love of the outdoors.
During the Great Depression, LeRoy witnessed the three other electricians in Missoula slowly go out of business. In 1936, he hung up his climbing hooks and left his life of stringing aerial electrical wire in Montana and moved to San Diego where his wife’s family lived.
In 1938, San Diego County was home to less than 300,000 people, many of which traveled to the region in hopes of finding a better life in the wake of the Great Depression.
Balboa Park had just hosted a World’s Fair two years prior, Bing Crosby was at the opening of the newly constructed Del Mar Fairgrounds for racing season and the San Diego State Teachers College was recently changed to San Diego State College (present day SDSU). The city and surrounding area were booming.
Two years after arriving in San Diego County, LeRoy Baker purchased a local electric company called Dietrich Electric for $4,000. While he didn’t realize it at the time, LeRoy would soon begin the Baker Way legacy of excellent customer service and quality workmanship that’s engrained in the company today.
Neville Baker Joins His Father in the Family Business
Neville L. Baker, LeRoy's son, moved to San Diego in the early 40s and took up the occupation of electrical work at Camp Pendleton and Naval Base San Diego. With the war in full swing and America fully involved, San Diego military bases and camps expanded to accommodate the thousands of young men and women that were arriving for training. There was plenty of work to be had.
In 1942, Neville joined his father at Baker Electric where he continued to do work at Camp Pendleton and all of North County San Diego.
Fast forward eleven years to 1953. Neville became President of Baker Electric after the passing of his father, LeRoy. Neville continued to grow the company despite the Korean War’s effects on the electrical market. The mid-50s were a time of great growth for the company. It was the time of transitioning from the average appliance repair and pipe and cable job to commercial electrical contracting. In 1955, Neville incorporated his small business, making Baker Electric into Baker Electric, Inc.
1961 was a milestone year for Neville and Baker Electric, Inc. That year, Baker began installing the electrical wiring for the Escondido Village Mall. This mall was said to be the first fully enclosed mall in California where you could stroll from one store to another without touching a door or even seeing one. This project really launched the company into the commercial electrical contracting arena.
That same year, Neville was elected President of NECA San Diego. The Master of Ceremonies? The actor-turned-politician Ronald Reagan. Of course, Reagan wasn’t President yet, but after years of serving in the Screen Actors Guild, he was very involved in union relations.
Kent Baker Leaves His Mark in the Baker Legacy
After serving in the US Army, Kent Baker, Neville’s son, joined the Baker team as an Apprentice in 1960. He learned all that he could from his father over the years until taking over as President of Baker in 1982. Following in his father's footsteps, Kent became President of NECA San Diego in 1983.
Ted Baker Becomes President
In 1994, after five years of working for a general contractor to gain outside experience, Kent’s son Ted Baker joined Baker Electric, Inc. as an estimator. Ted grew into his position and learned the ins-and-outs of Baker Electric. He helped the company save money and continue to grow for years. In 2000, Ted took over as President of Baker, where he remains today.