About Us - History

It all started as a challenge from his two older brothers, whom he worked for at the time.  “If you’re such a hotshot, why don’t you buy our Madison warehouse and go run it?!”  And with that, Harvey Jaeckle purchased the Madison branch of Milwaukee Building Supply, put his name on it, and uprooted his family for a move across the state.  The year was 1958.

Originally with just one single line – Formica plastic laminate – Harvey was out on the road selling while his wife Hardy managed the bookkeeping and the sole warehouse worker.  Product line expansion happened quickly, and by 1963 the company was carrying plastic and ceramic tile, adhesives, carpet, and major flooring brand names such as Azrock and Johnsonite.  Sales were $500,000.

1970 ushered in the company’s first million dollar year, and saw the addition of Florida Tile to the product lineup.  Fred Jaeckle, Harvey and Hardy’s son, started working full time for the company that year also.  Within eight years, sales had quintupled to $5 million, mainly as a result of one major product line addition – Mannington Vinyl.

Throughout the 1980’s the company expanded into all major flooring product categories.  By 1988 the company had over a thousand customers, several of whom had been with the company for all thirty years of it existence.   And it had also witnessed the retirement of its two founders – Harvey and Hardy Jaeckle.  Fred Jaeckle, Harvey’s son, took over as President in 1981.

The 1990’s saw major expansion, both geographically and in product lines.  Branches were opened in Minneapolis and St. Louis.  Cabinet Hardware was added to the product offering, as was laminate flooring.  The company dropped Formica, the original sole product line, in favor of the Pionite brand which offered it more than double the sales territory.

In February of 2002 the company built and moved into its current 150,000 sq. ft. facility in Madison.  And in 2003 it expanded geographically into the Chicago market.

Currently the company serves 10 states, with 3 branch locations in Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Chicago. It employs 115 people and has over 200,000 square feet of warehouse space throughout the Midwest.  Fred Jaeckle is semi-retired, and the company is currently run by the third generation – Jeff Jaeckle (President) and Torrey Jaeckle (Vice President). 

Recently, at the age of 91, Harvey told Torrey, “The greatest compliment I ever got from a customer was when someone said, ‘I buy from Harvey.  When I have a problem, I call Harvey.  And that’s the last I ever hear about it.’”  Fifty years have passed, but some things haven’t changed.  As the third generation, we still understand that people buy from people.  And customer service is key.  Harvey credits the early success of the business to building relationships that last, and exceeding customer expectations – simple, not profound, but intensely important.  And it’s a practice that we proudly continue to this day. Like most of our customers, we have always been a family business, and with that comes certain ways of operating:  We treat our customers right.  We treat our employees right.  And we support the communities in which we serve.

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