About Us


Our History


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.





We have three locations strategically placed throughout the State of Virginia.
  • Norfolk, Virginia

    • 3490 E. Virginia Beach Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23502
      • Contracting and Distribution: 757.222.9200
  • Hampton, Virginia

    • 711 Howmet Drive, Hampton, VA 23661
      • Distribution: 757.827.1440
  • Richmond, Virginia

    • 5300 Lewis Road, Sandston, VA 23150
      • Contracting: 804.231.4436, Distribution: 804.266.4040



Our Contracting Services & Distribution Products

We provide products and services to various industrial, marine, government and manufacturing facilities. Our relationship with some of the largest manufacturers in the country allows us to provide our customers the most updated products at competitive pricing.




Our Promise

Our Commitment to Customers


C.E. Thurston & Sons, Inc., has the capabiilities of handling large multi-trade projects with the responsibeness and personal attention usally offered only by smaller contractors/ 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.








CET at a Glance

  • Founded in 1919

  • Revenues in excess of $35 million

  • Experienced Senior Management Team with over 25 years average experience

  • 150 Associates with over 15 years average experience per Associate in Specialty Contracting and/or Indsutrial Distribution Experience.

  • 3 Branch Locations strategically located across Virginia.

  • Over 120,000 sq. ft. of office/warehouse facilities

  • Over $3 million in local inventory.

  • Class A Contractor's License #2701001633

  • SWaM #661844, Cage Code 9D472