By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN When Andy Engh started his own HVAC business in May of 2005, he had planned on keeping it small. At the time, he only had one part-time employee and himself.
Seven years later, he has 10 employees nine full time and one part time. Last year alone, A R Engh Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. grew 30 percent, despite the economy.
More business brings the need for more space.
For the past two years, Engh has been renting 1,900 square feet at 100 Cokato Street West, located on the corner of Highway 12 and Broadway Avenue.
Engh recently purchased a much larger facility at 150 Olsen Boulevard NE, formerly Hagen Builders, where he and his employees have 5,500 square feet to work with.
The space includes a warehouse, front office area, conference room, and a private office.
“For the first time, I’ll have my own office, since I’ve started the business,” Engh said.
A R Engh Heating and Air Conditioning will officially open in its new industrial park location Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Office hours will be 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and services available 24 hours, seven days a week.
To contact A R Engh, call (320) 286-2020 or visit them online at www.arenghhvac.com.
How Engh got his start
While attending Dunwoody Institute, Engh began working in the commercial HVAC industry throughout the Twin Cities, which he continued to do after graduating in 1997.
In 2005, he decided commuting to St. Paul every day was something he no longer wanted to do, and decided to start his own business.
Originally, he worked out of his 32-by24-foot garage at his home in Stockholm Township.
His first big commercial job was the Cokato Manor remodel and addition.
“From there, [business] took off,” he said.
Doing the project helped him get his name out there, and he quickly found there was a need for his services.
Services offered include commercial and residential HVAC, geothermal, plumbing, refrigeration, and service.
Typically, work is within a 40-mile radius of Cokato, which is his goal. This way it’s easier for his workers to get materials to the job sites.
“We can be more productive that way,” he said, adding that he would rather work in smaller towns than in the cities.
Each day, there are seven vehicles on the road, he said.
“I didn’t expect to get this big,” he said, but attributes the growth to the quality workers he has. “I honestly think I have the best guys in the trade,” he said.
“Now, I actually hope to continue to grow,” he added.
Brandel Electric to move in next door
Mike Brandel, owner of Brandel Electric, will be renting 3,500 square feet of the building from Engh for a warehouse and personal office space.
Brandel, who purchased the electrical business from Russ Johnson in 2010, has outgrown the warehouse he has been using on his property south of Cokato. Rather than adding on to his current space, he decided to move to Cokato and also gain more visibility.
He will officially be moved in Monday, Feb. 6.