By Myles Ma
Julius Gross has been painting and restoring houses since he first came to this country 40 years ago. He arrived in New England in the 1960s from Switzerland, and the Lawrence resident has worked his way to where he is now, manager of his own painting and restoring business, Julius Gross Decorators.
When he first arrived in the United States, Gross had no intention of staying. But when he learned a trade in New England and discovered he could be successful doing it, he stayed.
Gross moved to the area two years ago after a friend convinced him he could make more money here than he could in New England.
“The pay was kind of lousy up there,” Gross said. “Still is, probably.”
One of the things Gross advertises, and one of the reasons for his success, he says, is the Swiss-quality workmanship he brings to his job. Gross says the mentality he received from his Swiss upbringing gives him an edge.
“(The Swiss) don’t do things as fast and cheap as they do over here,” he said.
In keeping with that philosophy, Gross personally supervises as many jobs as he can, seven days a week.
He says he has worked for many important people over the years, though he wouldn’t divulge any names – save for one.
“About 30 years ago, I repainted the house of Svetlana, (Joseph) Stalin’s daughter, when she was living in Princeton,” he said.
Gross is now a proud Main Street resident. Though his company is based in Princeton, he has done work in towns from Ewing to Skillman to West Windsor.
“There’s no job too big or too small for Julius Gross,” he said.
Gross Decorators also has a home improvement license, which allows him to offer remodeling, altering, repairing, renovating and restoring in addition to his normal services, which include mildew removal, paint removal, repainting and refinishing.
Gross employs a group of 12 that includes a professional carpenter and painters that he says have been with him for years.
He says he offers the best warranty in the business. He says he has also gone back and touched up jobs two or three years after he was first contracted at no charge.
Gross also earned the Residential Award this year from the township for his restoration work.
Julius Gross Decorators is located at 220 Alexander St. in Princeton. He can be reached there at (609) 924-1474.